Reappraising the cerebellum: what does the hindbrain contribute to the forebrain?

Behav Neurosci. 1989 Oct;103(5):998-1008. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.103.5.998.


Although the cerebellum has traditionally been regarded as a motor mechanism, recent behavioral evidence indicates that the human cerebellum is involved in a wider range of functions: in learning, in planning, in judging time, in some emotional and cognitive disorders such as autism, and in some normal mental activities such as the cognitive processing of words. This evidence suggests that the traditional view of cerebellar function now needs to be reassessed and enlarged to include nonmotor as well as motor functions in the human brain. Whereas the cerebellar connections to frontal motor areas enable the cerebellum to improve motor skills, cerebellar connections to adjacent association areas of the prefrontal cortex can enable the cerebellum to improve mental skills, and cerebellar connections to Broca's area can enable the cerebellum to improve language skills.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mental Processes / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology