Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Neural integration by short term potentiation

  • 80 Accesses

  • 30 Citations


Neurophysiological studies in the oculomotor system suggest that an integrative operation is required in order to derive an eye position signal from a command signal which usually correlates with eye velocity. Several proposed models for a neural integrator are examined. All these models incorporate some form of positive feedback as a basic mechanism. Based on the performance of the models, we argue that such a scheme require extreme high precision in order to work properly. A new model based on potentiation phenomena in synaptic transmission is proposed and is shown to be free from the deficits of most previous models. The proposed model also accounts for various neural behaviors in a very natural way. A possible implementation of the model is also discussed in the context of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR).

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Becker W, Klein HM (1973) Accuracy of saccadic eye movements and maintenance of eccentric eye position in the dark. Vision Res 13:1021–1034

  2. Cannon SC, Robinson DA, Shamma S (1983) A proposed neural network for the integrator of oculomotor system. Biol Cybern 49:127–136

  3. Cannon SC, Robinson DA (1985) An improved neural network model for neural integrator of the oculomotor system: more realistic neuron behavior. Biol Cybern. 53:93–108

  4. Castellucci VF, Kandel ER (1976) Presynaptic facilitation as a mechanism for behavioral sensitization inAplysia, Science 194:1176–1178

  5. Fukuta J, Highstein MS, Ito M (1972) Cerebellar inhibitory control of the vestibuloocular reflex investigated in rabbit IIIrd nucleus. Exp Brain Res 14:511–526

  6. Galiana HL, Outerbridge JS (1984) A bilateral model for central neural pathways in vestibuloocular reflex. J Neurophysiol 51:210–241

  7. Ito M (1984) The cerebellum and neural control. Raven Press, New York

  8. Ito M, Highsein SM, Fukuda F (1970) Cerebellar inhibition of vestibuloocular reflex in rabbit and cat and its blockage by picrotoxin. Brain Res 17:524–526

  9. Kammath BY, Keller EL (1976) A neurological integrator for the oculomotor control system. Math Biosci 30:341–352

  10. Keller EL (1974) Participation of the medial pontine reticular formation in monkey. J Neurophysiol 37:316–332

  11. King WM, Lisberger SG, Fuchs AF (1976) Responses of fibers in medial longitudinal fasiculus (mlf) of alert monkey during horizontal and vertical conjugated eye movements evoked by vestibular or visual stimuli. J Neurophysiol 39:1135–1149

  12. Lisberger SG, Miles FA (1980) Role of primate medial vestibular nucleus in long-term adaptive plasticity of vestibuloocular reflex. J Neurophysiol 43:1725–1745

  13. Magleby KL (1987) Synaptic transmission, facilitation, augmentation, potentiation, depression. Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Birkhäuser, Boston Basel Stuttgart

  14. Magleby KL, Zengle JE (1982) Quantitative description of stimulation-induced changes in transmitter release at the frog neuromuscular junction. J Gen Physiol 80:613–638

  15. Oyster CW, Takahashi E, Collewijin H (1972) Direction-selective retinal ganglion cells and control of optokinetic nystagmus in the rabbit. Vision Res 12:183–193

  16. Racine RJ, Milgram NW (1983) Short-term potentiation phenomena in the rat limbic forebrain. Brain Res 260:201–216

  17. Racine RJ, Wilson DA, Gingell R, Sunderland D (1986) Long-term potentiation in the interpositus and vestibular nuclei in the rat. Exp Brain Res 63:158–162

  18. Rall W (1960) Membrane potential transients and membrane time constants of motorneurons. Exp Neurol 2:503–532

  19. Robinson DA (1974) The effect of cerebellectomy on the cat's vestibuloocular integrator. Brain Res 71:195–207

  20. Robinson DA (1981) The use of control system analysis in the neurophysiology of eye movements. Ann Rev Neurosci 4:463–503

  21. Robinson DA (1989) Integrating with neurons. Ann Rev Neurosci 12:33–45

  22. Skavenski AA, Robinson DA (1973) Role of abducens neurons in vestibuloocular reflex. J Neurophysiol 36:724–738

  23. Torre V, Poggio T (1978) A synaptic mechanism possibly underlying directional selectivity to motion. Proc R Soc London B 202:409–416

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Shen, L. Neural integration by short term potentiation. Biol. Cybern. 61, 319–325 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00203180

Download citation


  • High Precision
  • Positive Feedback
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Previous Model
  • Basic Mechanism