In 2012, four researchers at MIT researched the cerebellum’s role in predictions dealing with sounds produced by oneself, as well as sounds produced by others. The initial question in this experiment was whether or not “auditory stimuli are anticipated as a consequence of a motor act” (Knolle, Schröger, Baess, Kotz, 2012). In short, a total of twenty-two patients participated; eleven had a lesion located in the cerebellum, and eleven were healthy controls. Each participant underwent two experimental situations and one control. The conditions were auditory-motor, auditory-only, and motor-only, known as AMC, AOC, and MOC respectively. During the AMC, participants were instructed to tap their finger approximately every 2.4 seconds. The tap generated an immediate playback of a tone. In the auditory-only condition, the tone was played every 2.4 seconds, with no finger taps required. During the MOC, participants tapped their fingers every 2.4 seconds (self-directed). The experiment outcome found that the healthy controls “show the expected N100 suppression” generated by the finger taps (Knolle, et al, 2012). Conversely, participants with cerebellar lesions did not show the same expected brain activity. These participants struggled in predicting the tone playback during the auditory-motor-condition. Therefore, one of the cerebellum’s key roles in brain function is developing predictions using a forward model. A great deal of research finds that a key cerebellar role is motor control and planning; however, this experiment also found that the cerebellum plays a role in “sensory processing and cognition” (Knolle, et al, 2012).
The cerebellum is one of the best-known brain structures; this sector of the brain is approximately the size of...
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.... For example, sexual hormones are secreted when the hypothalamus receives signals from the cerebral cortex; the hypothalamus plays a significant role not only in bodily homeostasis, but in brain function.
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Knolle, F., Shröger, E., Baess, P., & Kotz, S.A. (2012). The cerebellum generates motor-to-auditory predictions: ERP lesion evidence. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(3), 698-706.
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