Cerebellum involvement in cortical sensorimotor circuits for the control of voluntary movements

Nat Neurosci. 2014 Sep;17(9):1233-9. doi: 10.1038/nn.3773. Epub 2014 Jul 27.


Sensorimotor integration is crucial to perception and motor control. How and where this process takes place in the brain is still largely unknown. Here we analyze the cerebellar contribution to sensorimotor integration in the whisker system of mice. We identify an area in the cerebellum where cortical sensory and motor inputs converge at the cellular level. Optogenetic stimulation of this area affects thalamic and motor cortex activity, alters parameters of ongoing movements and thereby modifies qualitatively and quantitatively touch events against surrounding objects. These results shed light on the cerebellum as an active component of sensorimotor circuits and show the importance of sensorimotor cortico-cerebellar loops in the fine control of voluntary movements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / cytology
  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cerebellum / cytology
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Efferent Pathways / cytology
  • Efferent Pathways / physiology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Optogenetics
  • Pons / cytology
  • Pons / physiology
  • Purkinje Cells / physiology
  • Sensorimotor Cortex / cytology
  • Sensorimotor Cortex / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology
  • Thalamus / cytology
  • Thalamus / physiology
  • Touch Perception / physiology*
  • Vibrissae / physiology
  • Volition / physiology*