Dendritic spines in glomeruli of the inferior olive are coupled by gap junctions and receive both inhibitory and excitatory inputs, yet the function of this configuration remains to be elucidated. Lefler et al. (2014) show that the GABAergic input from the cerebellar nuclei to neurons of the inferior olive dynamically affects both their coupling and subthreshold oscillations for short periods, while Mathy et al. (2014) and Turecek et al. (2014) show that the glutamatergic input to the olivary neurons can instruct plasticity of coupled dendrites in the long-term. The data sets from all three papers can be reconciled when put together in a model of the neuropil comprising the characteristic olivary glomeruli.