Deiters' Nucleus. Its Role in Cerebellar Ideogenesis : The Ferdinando Rossi Memorial Lecture

Cerebellum. 2016 Feb;15(1):54-66. doi: 10.1007/s12311-015-0681-9.


Otto Deiters (1834-1863) was a promising neuroscientist who, like Ferdinando Rossi, died too young. His notes and drawings were posthumously published by Max Schultze in the book "Untersuchungen über Gehirn und Rückenmark." The book is well-known for his dissections of nerve cells, showing the presence of multiple dendrites and a single axon. Deiters also made beautiful drawings of microscopical sections through the spinal cord and the brain stem, the latter showing the lateral vestibular nucleus which received his name. This nucleus, however, should be considered as a cerebellar nucleus because it receives Purkinje cell axons from the vermal B zone in its dorsal portion. Afferents from the labyrinth occur in its ventral part. The nucleus gives rise to the lateral vestibulospinal tract. The cerebellar B module of which Deiters' nucleus is the target nucleus was used in many innovative studies of the cerebellum on the zonal organization of the olivocerebellar projection, its somatotopical organization, its microzones, and its role in posture and movement that are the subject of this review.

Keywords: Decerebrate rigidity; Deiters’ nucleus; Lateral vestibulospinal tract; Microzones; Somatotopical organization.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Lecture
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Anatomy / history
  • Animals
  • Cerebellum / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Germany
  • History, 19th Century
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurosciences / history
  • Vestibular Nucleus, Lateral / anatomy & histology*
  • Vestibular Nucleus, Lateral / physiology*

Personal name as subject

  • Otto Deiters