Classical conditioning after cerebellar lesions in humans

Behav Neurosci. 1993 Oct;107(5):748-56. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.107.5.748.


We explored classical conditioning in human subjects who had lesions in their cerebellar circuitry. Seven patients with damage to cerebellar structures and matched control subjects underwent simple delay tone-airpuff conditioning. Eyelid conditioned response (CR) acquisition was severely disrupted in the patient group, whereas autonomic CRs and slow cortical potentials developing between conditioned stimulus (CS) and the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) were unaffected. Results are consistent with animal studies and earlier case reports indicating that intact cerebellar structures are necessary for the acquisition of classically conditioned motor responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Cerebellar Diseases / etiology
  • Cerebellar Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Cerebellum / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Eyelid / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Extinction, Psychological / physiology
  • Female
  • Galvanic Skin Response / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology
  • Reaction Time / physiology