Cerebellum and nonmotor function

Annu Rev Neurosci. 2009:32:413-34. doi: 10.1146/annurev.neuro.31.060407.125606.


Does the cerebellum influence nonmotor behavior? Recent anatomical studies demonstrate that the output of the cerebellum targets multiple nonmotor areas in the prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex, as well as the cortical motor areas. The projections to different cortical areas originate from distinct output channels within the cerebellar nuclei. The cerebral cortical area that is the main target of each output channel is a major source of input to the channel. Thus, a closed-loop circuit represents the major architectural unit of cerebro-cerebellar interactions. The outputs of these loops provide the cerebellum with the anatomical substrate to influence the control of movement and cognition. Neuroimaging and neuropsychological data supply compelling support for this view. The range of tasks associated with cerebellar activation is remarkable and includes tasks designed to assess attention, executive control, language, working memory, learning, pain, emotion, and addiction. These data, along with the revelations about cerebro-cerebellar circuitry, provide a new framework for exploring the contribution of the cerebellum to diverse aspects of behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affect / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cerebellar Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebellar Cortex / physiology
  • Cerebellar Nuclei / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebellar Nuclei / physiology
  • Cerebellum / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology