Eye Movement Disorders and the Cerebellum

J Clin Neurophysiol. 2019 Nov;36(6):405-414. doi: 10.1097/WNP.0000000000000579.


The cerebellum works as a network hub for optimizing eye movements through its mutual connections with the brainstem and beyond. Here, we review three key areas in the cerebellum that are related to the control of eye movements: (1) the flocculus/paraflocculus (tonsil) complex, primarily for high-frequency, transient vestibular responses, and also for smooth pursuit maintenance and steady gaze holding; (2) the nodulus/ventral uvula, primarily for low-frequency, sustained vestibular responses; and (3) the dorsal vermis/posterior fastigial nucleus, primarily for the accuracy of saccades. Although there is no absolute compartmentalization of function within the three major ocular motor areas in the cerebellum, the structural-functional approach provides a framework for assessing ocular motor performance in patients with disease that involves the cerebellum or the brainstem.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebellum* / physiology
  • Cerebellum* / physiopathology
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Ocular Motility Disorders* / etiology
  • Ocular Motility Disorders* / physiopathology