Cerebellar output channels

Int Rev Neurobiol. 1997;41:61-82. doi: 10.1016/s0074-7742(08)60347-5.


The cerebellum has long been regarded as involved in the control of movement, in part through its connections with the cerebral cortex. These connections were thought to combine inputs from widespread regions of the cerebral cortex and "funnel" them into the motor system at the level of the primary motor cortex. Retrograde transneuronal transport of herpes simplex virus type I has recently been used to identify areas of the cerebral cortex that are "directly" influenced by the output of the cerebellum. Results suggest that cerebellar output projects via the thalamus to multiple cortical areas, including premotor and prefrontal cortex, as well as the primary motor cortex. In addition, the projections to different cortical areas appear to originate from distinct regions of the deep cerebellar nuclei. These observations have led to the proposal that cerebellar output is composed of a number of separate "output channels." Evidence from functional imaging studies in humans and single neuron recording studies in monkeys suggests that individual output channels are concerned with different aspects of motor or cognitive behavior.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology
  • Primates / physiology