The Cerebellum

  • John C. Rothwell


There are more neurones in the cerebellum than there are in the whole of the rest of the brain, yet surprisingly little is known about the function of this remarkable organ. Lesions of the cerebellum do not produce muscle weakness nor disorders of perception. However, they do produce disturbances of coordination in limb and eye movements, as well as disorders of posture and muscle tone. Despite the lack of any direct efferent connexions between cerebellum and spinal or brainstem motor nuclei, it is a structure which is undoubtedly concerned with the control of movement.


Purkinje Cell Cerebellar Cortex Vestibular Nucleus Mossy Fibre Dentate Nucleus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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References and Further Reading

Review Articles and Books

  1. Bloedel, J.R., and Courville, J. (1981) `Cerebellar Afferent Systems’ in V.B. Brooks (ed.), Handbook of Physiology, sect.!, vol.II part 2, Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, pp. 735–830Google Scholar
  2. Brodai, A. (1981) Neurological Anatomy in Relation to Clinical Medicine, Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
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  4. Gilman, S., Bloedel, J.R. and Lechtenberg (1981) Disorders of the Cerebellum, F.A. Davis, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  5. Holmes, G. (1939) `The Cerebellum of Man’, Brain, 62, pp. 1–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ito, M. (1984) The Cerebellum and Neural Control, Raven Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Llinas, R. (1981) `Electrophysiology of the Cerebellar Networks’ in V.B. Brooks (ed.), Handbook of Physiology, sect. 1, vol. II, part 2, Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, pp. 831–75Google Scholar
  8. Marsden, C.D., Merton, P.A., Morton, H.B. et al (1977) `Disorders of Movement in Cerebellar Disease in Man’ in F. Clifford Rose (ed.), Physiological Aspects of Clinical Neurology, Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Original Papers

  1. Allum, J.H.J. and Pfaltz, C.R. (1985) `Visual and Vestibular Contributions to Pitch Sway Stabilisation in the Ankle Muscles of Normals and Patients with Bilateral Vestibular Deficits’, Exp. Brain Res., 58, pp. 82–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beppu, H., Suda, M. and Tanaka, R. (1984) `Analysis of Cerebellar Motor Disorder by Visually Guided Elbow Tracking Movement’, Brain, 107, pp. 787–809CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Combs, C.M. (1954) `Electroanatomical Study of Cerebellar Localisation. Stimulation of Various Afferents’, J. Neurophysiol., 17, pp. 123–43Google Scholar
  4. Diener, H.C., Dichgans, J., Bacher, M. et al (1984) `Characteristic Alterations of Long-loop “Reflexes” in Patients with Friedreich’s Disease and Late Atrophy of the Cerebellar Anterior Lobe’, J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiat., 47, pp. 679–85Google Scholar
  5. Flament, D., Vilis, T., and Hore, J. (1984) `Dependence of Cerebellar Tremor on Proprioceptive But Not Visual Feedback’, Exp. Neurol., 84, pp. 314–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ghez, C. and Fahn, S. (1985) `The Cerebellum’ in E.R. Kandel and J.H. Schwartz (eds.), Principles of Neural Science, 2nd edn., Elsevier, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Gilbert, P.F.C. and Thach, W.T. (1977) `Purkinje Cell Activity During Motor Learning’, Brain Res, 128, pp. 309–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  10. Hore, J. and Vilis, T. (1984) `Loss of Set in Muscle Responses to Limb Perturbations During Cerebellar Dysfunction’, J. Neurophysiol., 51, pp. 1137–48Google Scholar
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  13. Kornhauser, D., Bromberg, M.B. and Gilman, S. (1982) `Effects of Lesions of Fastigial Nucleus on Static and Dynamic Responses of Muscle Spindle Primary Afferents in the Cat’, J. Neurophysiol., 47, pp. 977–86Google Scholar
  14. Martinez, F.E., Crill, W.E. and Kennedy, T. (1971) `Electrogenesis of Cerebellar Purkinje Cell Responses in Cats’, J. Neurophysiol., 34, pp. 348–56Google Scholar
  15. Nashner, L.M. (1976) `Adapting Reflexes Controlling the Human Posture’, Exp. Brain. Res., 26, pp. 59–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Nashner, L.M. (1983) `Analysis of Movement Control in Man Using the Movable Platform’ in J.E. Desmedt (ed.), Advances in Neurology, vol. 39, pp. 607–19Google Scholar
  17. Pollock, L.J. and Davis, L. (1927) `The Influence of the Cerebellum Upon the Reflex Activities of the Decerebrate Animal’, Brain, 50, pp. 277–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sasaki, K., Gemba, H. and Mizuno, N. (1982) `Cortical Field Potentials Preceding Visually Initiated Hand Movements and Cerebellar Actions in the Monkey’, Exp. Brain. Res., 46, pp. 29–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Schultz, W. Montgomery, E.B., and Marini, R. (1979) `Proximal Limb Movements in Response to Microstimulation of Primate Dentate and Interpositus Nuclei Mediated by Brain-stemGoogle Scholar
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  23. Strick, P.L. (1978) `Cerebellar Involvement in “Volitional” Muscle Responses to Load Changes’ in J.E. Desmedt (ed.), Prog. Clin. Neurophysiol., vol. 8, Karger, Basel, pp. 85–93Google Scholar
  24. Thach, W.T. (1978) `Correlation of Neural Discharge with Pattern and Force of Muscular Activity, Joint Position and Direction of Intended Movement in Motor Cortex and Cerebellum’, J. Neurophysiol., 41, pp. 654–76Google Scholar
  25. Traub, M.M., Rothwell, J.C. and Marsden, C.D. (1980) `Anticipatory Postural Reflexes in Parkinson’s Disease and Other Akinetic-Rigid Syndromes and in Cerebellar Ataxia’, Brain, 103, pp. 393–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Vilis, T. and Hore, J. (1980) `Central Neural Mechanisms Contributing to Cerebellar Tremor Produced by Limb Perturbations’, J. Neurophysiol., 43, pp. 279–91Google Scholar
  27. Wetts, R., Kalaska, J.F. and Smith, A.M. (1985) `Cerebellar Nuclear Cell Activity During Antagonist Cocontraction and Reciprocal Inhibition of Forearm Muscles’, J. Neurophysiol., 54, pp. 231–44.Google Scholar
  28. Williams, P.L. and Warwick, R. (1975) Functional Neuroanatomy of Man, Churchill Livingstone, EdinburghGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© John C. Rothwell 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Rothwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Institute of PsychiatryUniversity of LondonUK

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