Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 100–118 | Cite as

Somatoiopic studies on cerebellar fastigial cells

  • J. C. Eccles
  • T. Rantucci
  • N. H. Sabah
  • H. Táboříková


The somatotopic inputs into fastigial cells have been studied in relation to cutaneous mechanoreceptors of forelimb and hindlimb. Some fastigial cells were very discriminative, not only in respect of the limb, but also to restricted areas of hairy skin and related toe pads. Others were much less so, forelimb and hindlimb cutaneous receptors evoking similar excitatory-inhibitory responses. In addition, from the contralateral hindlimb, responses were evoked which were comparable with those from the ipsilateral limb.

Somatotopic diagrams have been constructed which show in four experiments the sites of fastigial cells in the parasagittal plane of the microelectrode tracks. For each experiment four separate plottings give a comparison of the sizes of responses evoked for forelimb and hindlimb: excitation from nerve volleys; inhibition from nerve volleys; excitation from pad taps; inhibition from pad taps. In this way it is shown that fastigial cells with similar somatotopic relations often occur in clusters, particularly when assessed by their inhibitory responses.

Since fastigial inhibition is largely due to Purkyně cells, there is an attempt to correlate the somatotopic relations of Purkyně cells with the somatotopy of fastigial cell inhibition. The excitation of fastigial cells exhibits less somatotopic discrimination, which conforms with the poor somatotopic discrimination of cells of the lateral reticular nucleus.

In a final discussion there is consideration of two principal projections from the vermis of the anterior lobe: Purkyně cells inhibiting Deiters neur; Purkyně cells inhibiting fastigial cells which in turn monosynaptically excite Deiters neurones, the inhibition of Deiters neurones being then by disfacilitation. The degree of forelimb-hindlimb convergence in these pathways is reconsidered and is diagrammatically illustrated.

Key words

Cerebellar nuclei Fastigial neurones Somatotopy Cerebellar function 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allen, G.I., Sabah, N.H., Toyama, K.: Synaptic actions of peripheral nerve impulses upon Deiters neurones via the climbing fibre afferents. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 226, 311–333 (1972a)Google Scholar
  2. Allen, G.I., Sabah, N.H., Toyama, K.: Synaptic actions of peripheral nerve impulses upon Deiters neurones via the mossy fibre afferents. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 226, 335–351 (1972b)Google Scholar
  3. Batini, C., Pompeiano, O.: Chronic fastigial lesions and their compensation in the cat. Arch. ital. Biol. 95, 147–165 (1957)Google Scholar
  4. Batini, C., Pompeiano, O.: Effects of rostro-medial and rostro-lateral fastigial lesions on decerebrate rigidity. Arch. ital. Biol. 96, 315–329 (1958)Google Scholar
  5. Brodal, A., Pompeiano, O., Walberg, F.: The Vestibular Nuclei and Their Connections, Anatomy and Functional Correlations. Edinburgh-London: Oliver & Boyd 1962Google Scholar
  6. Chambers, W.W., Sprague, J.M.: Functional localization in the cerebellum. I. Organization in longitudinal cortico-nuclear zones and their contributions to the control of posture both extrapyramidal and pyramidal. J. comp. Neurol. 103, 105–129 (1955a)Google Scholar
  7. Chambers, W.W., Sprague, J.M.: Functional localization in the cerebellum. II. Somatotopic organization in cortex and nuclei. Arch. Neurol. Psychiat. (Chic.) 74, 653–680 (1955b)Google Scholar
  8. Dow, R.S., Moruzzi, G.: The Physiology and Pathology of the Cerebellum. Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press 1958Google Scholar
  9. Eager, R.P.: Efferent cortico-nuclear pathways in the cerebellum of the cat. J. comp. Neurol. 120, 81–103 (1963)Google Scholar
  10. Eccles, J.C.: Functional significance of arrangement of neurones in cell assemblies. Arch. Psychiat. Nervenkr. 215, 92–106 (1971)Google Scholar
  11. Eccles, J.C.: The cerebellum as a computer: Patterns in space and time. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 229, 1–32 (1973)Google Scholar
  12. Eccles, J.C., Faber, D.S., Murphy, J.T., Sabah, N.H., Táboříková, H.: Afferent volleys in limb nerves influencing impulse discharges in cerebellar cortex. II. In Purkyně cells. Exp. Brain Res. 13, 36–53 (1971a)Google Scholar
  13. Eccles, J.C.: Investigations on integration of mossy fiber inputs to Purkyně cells in the anterior lobe. Exp. Brain Res. 13, 54–77 (1971b)Google Scholar
  14. Eccles, J.C., Ito, M., Szentágothai, J.: The Cerebellum as a Neuronal Machine. pp. 335. Heidelberg-Berlin-New York: Springer 1967Google Scholar
  15. Eccles, J.C., Provini, L., Strata, P., Táboříková, H.: Topographical investigations on the climbing fiber inputs from forelimb and hindlimb afferents to the cerebellar anterior lobe. Exp. Brain Res. 6, 195–215 (1968)Google Scholar
  16. Eccles, J.C., Sabah, N.H., Schmidt, R.F., Táboříková, H.: Cutaneous mechanoreceptors influencing impulse discharges in cerebellar cortex. II. In Purkyně cells by mossy fiber input. Exp. Brain Res. 15, 261–277 (1972a)Google Scholar
  17. Eccles, J.C.: Cutaneous mechanoreceptors influencing impulse discharges in cerebellar cortex. III. In Purkyně cells by climbing fiber input. Exp. Brain Res. 15, 484–497 (1972b)Google Scholar
  18. Eccles, J.C.: Integration by Purkyně cells of mossy and climbing fiber inputs from cutaneous mechanoreceptors. Exp. Brain Res. 15, 498–520 (1972c)Google Scholar
  19. Eccles, J.C., Táboříková, H.: Responses evoked in neurones of the fastigial nucleus by cutaneous mechanoreceptors. Brain Res. 35, 523–527 (1971)Google Scholar
  20. Eccles, J.C.: Excitatory and inhibitory responses of neurones of the cerebellar fastigial nucleus. Exp. Brain Res. 19, 61–77 (1974a)Google Scholar
  21. Eccles, J.C.: The pathways responsible for excitation and inhibition of fastigial neurones. Exp. Brain Res. 19, 78–99 (1974b)Google Scholar
  22. Ito, M., Kawai, N., Udo, M.: The origin of cerebellar-induced inhibition of Deiters neurones. III. Localization of the inhibitory zone. Exp. Brain Res. 4, 310–320 (1968)Google Scholar
  23. Ito, M., Udo, M., Mano, N., Kawai, N.: Synaptic action of the fastigio-bulbar impulse upon neurones in the medullary retieular formation and vestibular nuclei. Exp. Brain Res. 11, 29–47 (1970)Google Scholar
  24. Ito, M., Yoshida, M.: The origin of cerebellar-induced inhibition of Deiters neurones. I. Monosynaptic initiation of the inhibitory postsynaptic potentials. Exp. Brain Res. 2, 330–349 (1966)Google Scholar
  25. Ito, M., Obata, K., Kawai, N., Udo, M.: Inhibitory control on intracerebellar nuclei by the Purkinje cell axons. Exp. Brain Res. 10, 64–80 (1970)Google Scholar
  26. Jansen, J.: Efferent csrebellar connections. In: Aspects of Cerebellar Anatomy, pp. 189–248. Ed. by J. Jansen and A. Brodal. Oslo: Johan Grundt Tanum Forlag 1954Google Scholar
  27. Jansen, J., Brodal, A.: Experimental studies on the intrinsic fibers of the cerebellum. II. The corticonuclear projection. J. comp. Neurol. 73, 267–321 (1940)Google Scholar
  28. Kitai, S.T., Táboříková, H., Tsukahara, N., Eccles, J.C.: The distribution to the cerebellar anterior lobe of the climbing and mossy fiber inputs from the plantar and palmar cutaneous afferents. Exp. Brain Res. 7, 1–10 (1969)Google Scholar
  29. Oscarsson, O.: Functional significance of information channels from the spinal cord to the cerebellum. In: Neurophysiological Basis of Normal and Abnormal Motor Activities, pp. 93–108. Ed. by M.D. Yahr and D.P. Purpura. New York: Raven Press 1967Google Scholar
  30. Oscarsson, O.: Functional organization of spinocerebellar paths. In: A. Iggo (Ed.), Handbook of Sensory Physiology, Vol. II, Somato-sensory System. pp. 339–380. Berlin-Heidelberg-New York: Springer 1973Google Scholar
  31. Pompeiano, O.: Functional organization of the cerebellar projections to the spinal cord. In: Progress in Brain Research, Vol. 25, pp. 282–321. Ed. by C. A. Fox and R. S. Snider. Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing Company 1967Google Scholar
  32. Rosén, I., Scheid, P.: Patterns of afferent input to the lateral retieular nucleus of the cat. Exp. Brain Res. 18, 242–255 (1973a)Google Scholar
  33. Rosén, I., Scheid, P.: Responses to nerve stimulation in the bilateral ventral flexor reflex tract (bVFRT) of the cat. Exp. Brain Res. 18, 256–267 (1973b)Google Scholar
  34. Rosén, I., Scheid, P.: Responses in the spino-reticulo-cerebellar pathway to stimulation of cutaneous mechanoreceptors. Exp. Brain Res. 18, 268–277 (1973c)Google Scholar
  35. Walberg, F., Jansen, J.: Cerebellar corticonuclear projection studied experimentally with silver impregnation method. J. Hirnforsch. 6, 338–354 (1964)Google Scholar
  36. Walberg, F., Pompeiano, O., Brodal, A., Jansen, J.: Fastigiovestibular fibers in the cat. An experimental study with silver methods. J. comp. Neurol. 118, 49–76 (1962)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. Eccles
    • 1
  • T. Rantucci
    • 1
  • N. H. Sabah
    • 1
  • H. Táboříková
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Physiology and BiophysicsSchool of Medicine, State University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

Personalised recommendations