29 October 2018

Reconsidering the cerebellum


It used to be so simple.  The cerebral cortex handled cognition, while the cerebelllum coordinated motor skills.  Recent work indicates that simplistic view presents a false dichotomy.
An ancient part of the brain long ignored by the scientific world appears to play a critical role in everything from language and emotions to daily planning...

Schmahmann, who wasn't involved in the new study, has been arguing for decades that the cerebellum plays a key role in many aspects of human behavior, as well as mental disorders such as schizophrenia...

And what they found was that just 20 percent of the cerebellum was dedicated to areas involved in physical motion, while 80 percent was dedicated to areas involved in functions such as abstract thinking, planning, emotion, memory and language...

The cerebellum doesn't directly carry out tasks like thinking, just as it doesn't directly control movement, Marek says. Instead, he says, it appears to monitor the brain areas that are doing the work and make them perform better.

In essence, this structure appears to act as a kind of editor, constantly reviewing and improving a person's thoughts and decisions, Dosenbach says. If that's true, he says, it's no surprise that alcohol affects more than our physical movements.
This is fascinating.   Read more at NPR, where there is a link to the source article.

1 comment:

  1. i think you mixed up something? that is a monet cutout, not a cerebellum.

    I-)

    ReplyDelete

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