A key organisational feature of the cerebellum is its division into a series of cerebellar modules. Each module is defined by its climbing input originating from a well-defined region of the inferior olive, which targets one or more longitudinal zones of Purkinje cells within the cerebellar cortex. In turn, Purkinje cells within each zone project to specific regions of the cerebellar and vestibular nuclei. While much is known about the neuronal wiring of individual cerebellar modules, their behavioural significance remains poorly understood. Here, we briefly review some recent data on the functional role of three different cerebellar modules: the vermal A module, the paravermal C2 module and the lateral D2 module. The available evidence suggests that these modules have some differences in function: the A module is concerned with balance and the postural base for voluntary movements, the C2 module is concerned more with limb control and the D2 module is involved in predicting target motion in visually guided movements. However, these are not likely to be the only functions of these modules and the A and C2 modules are also both concerned with eye and head movements, suggesting that individual cerebellar modules do not necessarily have distinct functions in motor control.
Bibliographical noteAuthor of Publication Reviewed: Cerminara NL, Apps R
- Enzyme Inhibitors
- Time Factors
- Behavior, Animal
- Purkinje Cells