The cerebellum resides in the posterior cranial fossa dorsal to the brainstem and has diverse connections to the cerebrum, brain stem, and spinal cord. It is anatomically and physiologically divided into distinct functional compartments and is composed of highly regular arrays of neuronal units, each sharing the same basic cerebellar microcircuitry. Its circuitry is critically involved in motor control and motor learning, and its role in nonmotor cognitive and affective functions is becoming increasingly recognized. This article describes the cerebellar gross and histologic neuroanatomy in relation to its function, and the relevance of cerebellar circuitry and firing patterns to motor learning.
Keywords: Cerebellar circuitry; Cerebellar connections; Cerebellar lobules; Compartmentalization; Plasticity.
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