Cerebellum Implicated in Sensory Acquisition and Discrimination Rather Than Motor Control

Science  26 Apr 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5261, pp. 545-547
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5261.545


Recent evidence that the cerebellum is involved in perception and cognition challenges the prevailing view that its primary function is fine motor control. A new alternative hypothesis is that the lateral cerebellum is not activated by the control of movement per se, but is strongly engaged during the acquisition and discrimination of sensory information. Magnetic resonance imaging of the lateral cerebellar output (dentate) nucleus during passive and active sensory tasks confirmed this hypothesis. These findings suggest that the lateral cerebellum may be active during motor, perceptual, and cognitive performances specifically because of the requirement to process sensory data.

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