Cerebellar volume in humans related to magnitude of classical conditioning

Neuroreport. 2000 Feb 28;11(3):609-15. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200002280-00035.


Neural circuits in the cerebellum are essential for eyeblink classical conditioning, and hippocampal activation is also present during acquisition. Anatomical (volumetric) brain MRI, delay eyeblink conditioning and neuropsychological tests were administered to eight healthy older subjects. The correlation between cerebellar volume (corrected for total cerebral volume) and conditioned response percentage was 0.81 (p < 0.02), but neither hippocampal nor total cerebral volume correlated with conditioning or any neuropsychological test scores. There was no relationship between age and cerebellar volume, but the correlation between hippocampal volume and age was -0.80 (p < 0.02). These volumetric results add to the increasing evidence in humans demonstrating a relationship between the integrity of the cerebellum and eyeblink classical conditioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology
  • Blinking / physiology
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebellum / anatomy & histology*
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Reference Values