Conditioning pp 401-416 | Cite as

Cerebellar Learning in Limb Movements?

  • W. T. Thach
  • M. H. Schieber
  • P. F. C. Gilbert
  • R. J. Elble
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 26)


Evidence is given for the dissociation of activity of alpha and gamma motor neuron activity during slow precise pursuit tracking, in which the cerebellum may play a role. Questions are raised as to whether this is a learned phenomenon, how the cerebellum might participate in the learning, and what is needed to find out.


Purkinje Cell Motor Cortex Extensor Carpus Radialis Alpha Motor Neuron Motor Cortex Neuron 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Albus, J.S.A. (1971) A theory of cerebellar cortex. Math. Biosci. 10: 25–66.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Brooks, V.B. and Thach, W.T. (1981) Cerebellar control of posture and movement. In: Handbook of Physiology. Section I. The Nervous System. Vol. II. Motor control. Ed. by Brookhart, J.M., Mountcastle, V.B., Brooks, V.B., Geiger, S.R. American Physiological Society, Bethesda, MD. pp. 877–946.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Elble, R.J. and Randall, J.E. (1976) Motor unit activity responsible for the 8- to 12-Hz component of human physiological finger tremor. J. Neurophysiol. 39: 370–383.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Elble, R.J., Schieber, M.A., and Thach, W.T. (1981) Involvement of nucleus interpositus in action tremor. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 7: 691.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gilbert, P.F.C. and Thach, W.T. (1977) Purkinje cell activity during motor learning. Brain Res. 128: 309–328.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gilman, S., Marco, L.A., and Ebel, H.C. (1971) Effects of medullary pyramidotomy in the monkey. II. Abnormalities of spindle afferent responses. _Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Granit, R., Holmgren, B., and Merton, P.A. (1955) The two routes for the excitation of muscle and their subservience to the cerebellum. J. Physiol. ( Lond. ) 130: 213–224.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ito, M. (1972) Neural design of the cerebellar motor control system. Brain Res. 40: 81–84.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ito, M., Shiida, N., Yagi, N. and Yamamoto, M. (1974) The cerebellar modification of rabbits horizontal vestibulo-ocular reflex induced by sustained head rotation combined with visual stimulation. Proc. Jap. Acad. 50: 85–89.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lucier, G.E., Ruegg, D.C., and Wiesendanger, M. (1975) Responses of neurones in motor cortex and in area 3a to controlled stretches of forelimb muscles in Cebus monkeys. J. Physiol. ( Lond. ) 251: 833–853.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mackay, W.A. and Murphy, J.T. (1974) Response of interpositus neurons to passive muscle stretch. J. Neurophysiol. 37: 1410 1423.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Marr, D. (1969) A theory of cerebellar cortex. J. Physiol. ( Land. ) 202: 437–470.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Matthews, P.B.C. (1981) Muscle spindles: their messages and their fusimotor supply. In: Handbook of Physiology. Sect. I. The Nervous System. Vol. II. Motor control. Ed. by Brookhart, J.M., Mountcastle, V.B., Brooks, V.B. and Geiger, S.R. American Physiological Society, Bethesda, Maryland. pp. 189–228.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Merton, P.A. (1953) Speculations on the servocontrol of movement. In: The Spinal Cord, ed. Merton, P.A, pp. 183–198 ( Ciba Foundation Symp. )Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Phillips, C.G., Powell, T.P.S., and Wiesendanger, M. (1971) Projection from low-threshold muscle afferents of hand and forearm to area 3a of baboons cortex. J. Physiol. ( Land. ) 217: 419–446.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Robinson, D.A. (1976) Adaptive gain control of vestibulo- ocular reflex by the cerebellum. J. Neurophysiol. 39: 954–969.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Schieber, M.H. (1981) Muscle, motor cortex, cerebellar nucleus and spindle afferent activity during slow hold ramp hold position tracking movements of the monkeys wrist. Doctoral dissertation, Washington University, Program in Neural Science, St. Louis.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Schieber, M.H., and Thach, W.T. (1980) Alpha-gamma dissociation during slow tracking movements of the monkeys wrist: preliminary evidence from spinal ganglion recording. Brain Res. 202: 213–216.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Stein, R.B., and Lee, R.G. (1981) Tremor and clonus. In: Handbook of Physiology. Section I. The Nervous System. Vol. II. Motor Control. Ed. by Brookhart, J.M., Mountcastle, V.B., Brooks, V.B. and Geiger, S.R. American Physciological Society, Bethesda, Maryland. pp. 189–228.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Thach, W.T. (1978.) Correlation of neural discharge with pattern and force of muscular activity, joint position, and direction of intended next movement in motor cortex and cerebellum. J. Neurophysiol. 41: 654–676.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Thach, W.T., Perry, J.G., and Schieber, M.H. Cerebellar output: body maps and muscle spindles. In: The Cerebellum: New Vistas, ed. by S. Palsy and V. Chan-Palay. New York: Springer-Verlag. In press.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Valibo, A.B. (1971) Muscle spindle response at the onset of isometric voluntary contraction in man. Time difference between fusimotor and skeletomotor effects. J. Physiol. 318: 405–431.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Vilis, T. and Hore, J. (1980) Central neural mechanisms contributing to cerebellar tremor produced by limb perturbations. J. Neurophysiol. 43: 279–291.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hagbarth, K.E. and Young, R.R. (1979) Participation of the stretch reflex in human physiological tremors. Brain 102: 509526.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. T. Thach
    • 1
  • M. H. Schieber
    • 1
  • P. F. C. Gilbert
    • 1
  • R. J. Elble
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Neurobiology and Neurology WashingtonUniversity School of MedicineSaint LouisUSA

Personalised recommendations