What is the function of the cerebellum? The cerebellum is involved in motor pathways, and is often associated with coordinated movement. The Gao et. al. article indicates that the cerebellum also is involved in sensory pathways. What else? There does exists evidence for the involvement of the cerebellum in higher cognitive function. Middleton, F.A., and Strick, P.L. (1994) "Anatomical evidence for Cerebellar and Basal Ganglia Involvement in Higher Cognitive Function" Science 266:458-461. Abstract available.
Mid-Sagital Cryosection This is a post-mortem sagital cryosection at the midline. The cerebellum is seen along the midline axis. A mini-movie cutting through the brain in the sagital plane also is provided. Can you see any of the cerebellar nuclei in the movie? (provided by the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging)
Horizontal MRI This is a T2 wieghted horizontal MRI of the cerebellum. A sagital section indicating the section level is included. Can you identify the structures with the pointers? (from Harvard's Whole Brain Atlas)
Cerebellar tonsil herniation Acute cerebral swelling can often produce herniation of the cerebellar tonsils into the foramen magnum. Note the con shape of the tonsils around the medulla in this cerbellum. What fatal problem can this cause? (from CNS Pathology)
Cerebellar Infarcts, MRI This is a T1 weighted horizontal MRI at the level of the cerebellum. This patient shows multiple cerebellar infarcts seen as pale areas in the cerebellar hemispheres. What kind of deficits would you expect this patient to have?
Cerebellar function, PET This is a Positron Emission Tomographic (PET) image of cerbellar function. The top figure indicates cerebellar activation during a motor control task (finger movement). Do you know your pathways? Is the response ipsilateral or contralateral to the finger movement? Why? The bottom figure indicates cerbellar activation during a timing task. Note that the response is bilateral and superior with correcponding activation in the vermis. (from Jueptner, M., Rijntjes, M., Weiller, C., Faiss, J.H., Timmann, D., Mueller, S.P., Diener, H.C. (1995) "Localization of a cerebellar timing process using PET" Neurology 45:1540-1545) Figure legend
Cerebellar function, fMRI This is a functional MRI image of cerebellar function. Magnetic Resonance imaging of the lateral cerebellar output nucleus (dentate) was used to determine the relative roles of the cerebellum in sensory and motor systems. Activation occurred durring motor and sensory tasks. Gao, J.H., Parsons, L.M., Bower, J.M., Xiong, J., Li, J., and Fox, P.T. "The Role of the Cerebellum in Sensory Discrimination: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study" Science 1996 Apr 26, 272(5261):545-7. Figure legend