On the cerebellum, cutaneomuscular reflexes, movement control and the elusive engrams of memory

Behav Brain Res. 1995 Apr;68(1):1-44. doi: 10.1016/0166-4328(94)00171-b.


This review focuses on the role of the cerebellum in regulating cutaneomuscular reflexes and provides a hypothesis regarding the way in which this action contributes to the coordination of goal-directed movements of the extremities. Specific attention is directed towards the cerebellum's role in conditioned and unconditioned eyeblink reflexes and limb withdrawal reflexes as models of its interactions with the cutaneomuscular reflex systems. The implications regarding the cerebellum as a storage site for motor engrams also is discussed in the context of these two behaviors. The proposed hypothesis suggests that the cerebellum regulates important features of the cutaneomuscular reflex circuits including the integration of their activity with descending pathways in a manner that implements these fundamental reflex circuits in the organization and control of goal-directed movements of the extremities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Musculocutaneous Nerve / physiology*
  • Proprioception / physiology
  • Reflex / physiology*