Sensory transmission in cerebellar granule cells relies on similarly coded mossy fiber inputs
The computational principles underlying the processing of sensory-evoked synaptic inputs are understood only rudimentarily. A critical missing factor is knowledge of the activation patterns of the synaptic inputs to the processing neurons. Here we use well-defined, reproducible skin stimulation to describe the specific signal transformations that occur in different parallel mossy fiber pathways and analyze their representation in the synaptic inputs to cerebellar granule cells. We find that mossy fiber input codes are preserved in the synaptic responses of granule cells, suggesting a coding-specific innervation. The computational consequences of this are that it becomes possible for granule cells to also transmit weak sensory inputs in a graded fashion and to preserve the specific activity patterns of the mossy fibers.