Cerebellar control of balance and locomotion

Neuroscientist. 2004 Jun;10(3):247-59. doi: 10.1177/1073858404263517.


The cerebellum is important for movement control and plays a particularly crucial role in balance and locomotion. As such, one of the most characteristic signs of cerebellar damage is walking ataxia. It is not known how the cerebellum normally contributes to walking, although recent work suggests that it plays a role in the generation of appropriate patterns of limb movements, dynamic regulation of balance, and adaptation of posture and locomotion through practice. The purpose of this review is to examine mechanisms of cerebellar control of balance and locomotion, emphasizing studies of humans and other animals. Implications for rehabilitation are also considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / physiopathology
  • Cerebellum / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Postural Balance / physiology*