A Role for the Cerebellum in Learning Movement Coordination

  title={A Role for the Cerebellum in Learning Movement Coordination},
  author={William Thomas Thach},
  journal={Neurobiology of Learning and Memory},
  • W. T. Thach
  • Published 1 July 1998
  • Biology, Psychology
  • Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
We have examined several different paradigms of adaptation and of "acquisition of skill"-skill defined as a movement specialized to meet a certain goal and gained through practice. In each paradigm, change occurs through trial-and-error performance. In some of the tasks, damage of cerebellar cortex impairs adaptation and not performance. The deficits in performance cannot explain the deficits in adaptation. In some of the tasks, the discharge of Purkinje cells and, by inference, the discharge… 
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Localizing Sites for Plasticity in the Vestibular System
An apparent step back toward more process-oriented models and interpretation may be required to make further progress in identifying sites for plasticity at the level of individual neurons in the VOR.
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Findings in humans show the importance of cortical areas of the ipsilateral superior cerebellum both in the acquisition and timing of conditioned eyeblink responses (CR) and of the cerebellar nuclei in extinction of CRs.
Reorganization of finger coordination patterns during adaptation to rotation and scaling of a newly learned sensorimotor transformation.
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Experience-Dependent Plasticity of Cerebellar Vermis in Basketball Players
Investigating whether macroscopic alteration in the volume of cerebellum occurs in basketball players who had learned complex motor skills and practiced them intensively for a long time suggested that the extensive practice and performance of sports-related motor skills activate structural plasticity of vermian lobules in human Cerebellum and suggests that vermians VI–VII plays an important role in motor learning.


On the specific role of the cerebellum in motor learning and cognition: Clues from PET activation and lesion studies in man
The cerebellar output extends even to what has been characterized as the ultimate frontal planning area, the “prefrontal” cortex, area 46, and the cerebellum may be involved in context-response linkage, and response combination even at these higher levels.
The cerebellum and the adaptive coordination of movement.
The adaptive role of the cerebellar cortex would appear to be specialized for combining simpler elements of movement into more complex synergies, and also in enabling simple, stereotyped reflex apparatus to respond differently, specifically, and appropriately under different task conditions.
Purkinje cell complex and simple spike changes during a voluntary arm movement learning task in the monkey.
1. To evaluate the role of the cerebellum during improvement of voluntary motor performance over time, the discharge of 88 Purkinje cells in the intermediate and lateral cerebellum of two primates
On the cerebellum and motor learning
The neural basis for learning of simple motor skills.
The vestibulo-ocular reflex is a simple movement that has been used to investigate the neural basis for motor learning in monkeys and similarities among the VOR and other motor systems suggest some organizing principles that may apply in many forms of motor learning.
Cerebellar Output: Multiple Maps and Modes of Control in Movement Coordination
For the scientist, one of the chief goals in cerebellar research has been to find physiological meaning in the function of the anatomical circuitry. Ramon y Cajal, in providing many of the anatomical
Cerebellar cortex: its simulation and the relevance of Marr's theory.
  • T. TyrrellD. Willshaw
  • Biology
    Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
  • 1992
A detailed explanation of MarR's theory based upon an analogy between Marr's cerebellar model and an abstract model called the associative net is presented and it is found that in general terms his conclusion that each Purkinje cell can learn to respond to a large number of different patterns of activity in the mossy fibres is substantially correct.