The cerebellum coordinates eye and hand tracking movements

Nat Neurosci. 2001 Jun;4(6):638-44. doi: 10.1038/88465.


The cerebellum is thought to help coordinate movement. We tested this using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the human brain during visually guided tracking tasks requiring varying degrees of eye-hand coordination. The cerebellum was more active during independent rather than coordinated eye and hand tracking. However, in three further tasks, we also found parametric increases in cerebellar blood oxygenation signal (BOLD) as eye-hand coordination increased. Thus, the cerebellar BOLD signal has a non-monotonic relationship to tracking performance, with high activity during both coordinated and independent conditions. These data provide the most direct evidence from functional imaging that the cerebellum supports motor coordination. Its activity is consistent with roles in coordinating and learning to coordinate eye and hand movement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cerebellum / blood supply
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hand / innervation*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Movement
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Supine Position


  • Oxygen