The Cerebellum and Event Timing

  title={The Cerebellum and Event Timing},
  author={Richard B. Ivry and REBECCA M. Spencer and Howard N. Zelaznik and J{\"o}rn Diedrichsen},
  journal={Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences},
Abstract: Damage to the cerebellum disrupts performance on a range of tasks that require precise timing including the production of skilled movements, eyeblink conditioning, and perceptual tasks such as duration discrimination. We hypothesize that such tasks involve event timing, a form of representation in which the temporal goals are explicitly represented. For example, during finger tapping, the goal to produce evenly paced intervals invokes an explicit temporal representation of the time… 

Dissociating Timing and Coordination as Functions of the Cerebellum

It is suggested that timing and coordination are behaviorally distinct modes of motor control and that the anterior cerebellum is a crucial node in state-dependent motor control, computing a predictive state estimate of one effector to coordinate actions of another effector.

Role of the cerebellum in movements: control of timing or movement transitions?

The results of the present experiments are consistent with the hypothesis that the cerebellum is essential for tasks requiring precise event-like temporal control, and support the transition hypothesis.

Attention Guides the Motor-Timing Strategies in Finger-Tapping Tasks When Moving Fast and Slow

The work suggests that moving fast and slow involve distinct timing strategies that are characterized by contrasting attentional demands, suggesting that timing properties emerged from body movement dynamics.

Impaired predictive motor timing in patients with cerebellar disorders

The performance of subjects with cerebellar disease in predictive motor timing is investigated using a task that involved mediated interception of a moving target and the findings demonstrate that the cerebellum may have properties that would facilitate the processing or storage of internal models of motor behavior.

Timing of rhythmic movements in patients with cerebellar degeneration

Results of a new experiment in which individuals with cerebellar ataxia produced rhythmic tapping or circle drawing movements provide further evidence that the integrity of the cerebellum is especially important for event timing, although the attempt to specify the relationship between event and emergent timing was not successful.

Spontaneous, synchronized, and corrective timing behavior in cerebellar lesion patients


Interactions in the formation of the trajectories of the two hands are associated with processes involved in response selection, rather than interactions in the motor system, suggesting that limitations in bimanual coordination overlap to a considerable degree with those observed in other domains of cognition.

A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective on Bimanual Coordination and Interference

Interactions in the formation of the trajectories of the two hands are associated with processes involved in response selection, rather than interactions in the motor system, suggesting that limitations in bimanual coordination overlap to a considerable degree with those observed in other domains of cognition.



Dissociation of explicit and implicit timing in repetitive tapping and drawing movements.

The results of four experiments explored the hypothesis that temporal processes may be represented and controlled explicitly or implicitly support the hypothesized distinction between explicit and implicit temporal representations.

Correlations for timing consistency among tapping and drawing tasks: evidence against a single timing process for motor control.

The conclusions drawn were that timing is not an ability to be shared by a variety of tasks but instead that the temporal qualities of skilled movement are the result of the specific processes necessary to produce a trajectory.

Exploring the role of the cerebellum in sensory anticipation and timing: Commentary on Tesche and Karhu

  • R. Ivry
  • Biology, Psychology
    Human brain mapping
  • 2000
The article by Tesche and Karhu provides strong evidence that the cerebellum in humans is activated in anticipation of somatosensory events, even when these events do not require overt responses.

Timing Functions of The Cerebellum

The results suggest that the domain of the cerebellar timing process is not limited to the motor system, but is employed by other perceptual and cognitive systems when temporally predictive computations are needed.

Dissociation of the lateral and medial cerebellum in movement timing and movement execution

It is concluded that the lateral regions of the cerebellum are critical for the accurate functioning of an internal timing system.

Moving to Directly Cued Locations Abolishes Spatial Interference During Bimanual Actions

The results indicate that directly cued actions can be programmed in parallel for the two hands, and challenge the hypothesis that the cost to initiate nonsymmetric movements is due to spatial interference in a motor-programming stage.

The Dynamics of Bimanual Circle Drawing

A bimanual circle drawing task was employed to elucidate the dynamics of intralimb and interlimb coordination and revealed distortions of movement trajectories, transient departures from the target pattern of coordination, and phase wandering that suggested loss of stability.

Temporal Precision in Tapping and Circle Drawing Movements at Preferred Rates is Not Correlated: Further Evidence Against Timing as a General-Purpose Ability

There were no significant correlations between tapping and drawing in terms of timing precision, which lends further support to the notion that timing behavior is specific to the nature of the task, and thus further weakens the idea that timing is a generalized ability that can be imposed on a variety of different types of tasks.

The coupled oscillator model of between-hand coordination in alternate-hand tapping: a reappraisal.

  • A. SemjenR. Ivry
  • Psychology
    Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance
  • 2001
The results challenge the notion that bimanual coordination emerges from coupling constraints intrinsic to the 2-hand system and are in accord with a framework that emphasizes the control of specific time intervals to form a series of well-defined motor events.