The Function of the Cerebellum

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Previous studies that have researched the functions of the cerebellum have focused on investigating individuals that have damage to their cerebellum, such as was the case with the Phineas Gage’s frontal lobe study that proved that the frontal lobe served an important role in personality and behavior. Recent studies have had the advantage of new technologies that could significantly aid in identifying whether or not the cerebellum plays a role in specific functions, these include functional imaging techniques such as fMRI and PET imaging, and these recent technological advances have paved the way for new studies that focus on brain region activation. This new method in researching the cerebellum has created new hypotheses for the functions of this crucial brain region, which include but are not limited to cognitive and perceptual functions as well as the already examined motor functions. These emerging hypotheses have challenged the old views about the roles the cerebellum is implicated in. One of these hypotheses include the association Gao et al. made in the acquisition and discrimination of sensory information using innovative techniques such as that of magnetic resonance imaging of the lateral cerebellar nucleus, while additionally engaging individuals in both active and passive sensory tasks (1996). These results from the Gao et al. research are just one of the many investigations that have further supported the cerebellum’s function in sensory acquisition and discrimination, since the results of this specific experiment showed an activation during sensory stimulation without motor movements involved then we can successfully apply these findings to another function of the cerebellum (1996). However, another interesting find... ... middle of paper ... ... Parsons, L.M., Bower, J., Xiong J., Li J., & Fox, P. (1996). Cerebellum Implicated in Sensory Acquisition and Discrimination Rather Than Motor Control. Science, 272, 545-547. Manto, M., Bower, J.M., Conforto, A.B., Delgado-Garcia, J.M., da Guarda, S.N., Gerwig, M., Habas, C., Hagura N., Ivry, R.B., Mariën, P., Molinari, M., Nairo, E., Nowak D.A., Oulad, B.T., Pelisson, D, Tesche, C.D., Tilikete, C., & Timman, D. (2012). Consensus Paper: Roles of the Cerebellum in Motor Control – The Diversity of Ideas on Cerebellar Involvement in Movement. Cerebellum, 11, 457-487. Middleton, F.A., & Strick, P.L. (1994). Anatomical Evidence for Cerebellar and Basal Ganglia Involvement in Higher Cognitive Function. Science, 266, 458-461. Prevosto, V., & Sommer, M.A. (2013). Cognitive Control of Movement Via the Cerebellar-Recipient Thalamus. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 7, 1-8.

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