Questioning the cerebellar doctrine

Prog Brain Res. 2014;210:59-77. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-63356-9.00003-0.

Abstract

The basic principles of cerebellar function were originally described by Flourens, Cajal, and Marr/Albus/Ito, and they constitute the pillars of what can be considered to be the classic cerebellar doctrine. In their concepts, the main cerebellar function is to control motor behavior, Purkinje cells are the only cortical neuron receiving and integrating inputs from climbing fiber and mossy-parallel fiber pathways, and plastic modification at the parallel fiber synapses onto Purkinje cells constitutes the substrate of motor learning. Yet, because of recent technical advances and new angles of investigation, all pillars of the cerebellar doctrine now face regular re-examination. In this review, after summarizing the classic concepts and recent disputes, we attempt to synthesize an integrated view and propose a revisited version of the cerebellar doctrine.

Keywords: climbing fibers; cognitive and emotional behavior; distributed synergistic plasticity; input convergence; mossy fibers; motor behavior; motor learning; timing control.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*