Cerebellum (Encyclopedia of Neurological Disorders)
The cerebellum is a cauliflower-shaped brain structure located just above the brainstem, beneath the occipital lobes at the base of the skull.
The word cerebellum comes from the Latin word for "little brain." The cerebellum has traditionally been recognized as the unit of motor control that regulates muscle tone and coordination of movement. There is an increasing number of reports that support the idea that the cerebellum also contributes to non-motor functions such as cognition (thought processes) and affective state (emotion).
The cerebellum comprises approximately 10% of the brain's volume and contains at least half of the brain's neurons. The cerebellum is made up of two hemispheres (halves) covered by a thin layer of gray matter known as the cortex. Beneath the cortex is a central core of white matter. Embedded in the white matter are several areas of gray matter known as the deep cerebellar nuclei (the fastigial nucleus, the globise-emboliform nucleus, and the dentate nucleus). The cerebellum is connected to the brainstem via three bundles of fibers called peduncles (the superior, middle, and inferior).
The cerebellum is a complex structure. At the basic level, it is divided into three distinct regions: the vermis, the...
(The entire section is 999 words.)
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