the cerebellum via the spinal cord and medulla oblongata.
transmit information from the cerebral
cortex about the desired position of these body parts. After
integrating and analyzing the information from these two
sources, the cerebellum sends correcting impulses from the
dentate nucleus via the
to the midbrain
(F g. 11.22). These corrections are incorporated into motor
impulses that travel downward through the pons, medulla
oblongata, and spinal cord in the appropriate patterns to
move the body in the desired way.
Overall, the cerebellum integrates sensory informa-
tion concerning the position of body parts and coordinates
skeletal muscle activity and maintains posture. It receives
sensory impulses from receptors in muscles, tendons, and
joints (proprioceptors) and from special sense organs, such
as the eyes and ears. ±or example, the cerebellum uses sen-
sory information from the semicircular canals of the inner
ears concerning the motion and position of the head to help
maintain equilibrium (see chapter 12, pp. 459–461). Damage
to the cerebellum can cause tremors, inaccurate movements
of voluntary muscles, loss of muscle tone, a reeling walk,
and loss of equilibrium.
summarizes the characteristics and functions
of the major parts of the brain. Clinical Application 11.6 dis-
cusses how brain waves reﬂ
ect brain activity.
Where is the cerebellum located?
What are the major functions of the cerebellum?
What types of receptors provide information to the cerebellum?
What are the major functions of the thalamus? Of the
How may the limbic system inF
uence a person’s behavior?
Which vital reF
ex centers are located in the brainstem?
What is the function of the reticular formation?
Describe two types of sleep.
um) is a large mass of tissue located
inferior to the occipital lobes of the cerebrum and posterior to
the pons and medulla oblongata (see F g. 11.15). It consists of
two lateral hemispheres partially separated by a layer of dura
mater called the
A structure called the
connects the cerebellar hemispheres at the midline.
Like the cerebrum, the cerebellum is primarily composed
of white matter with a thin layer of gray matter, the
on its surface. This cortex doubles over on
itself in a series of complex folds that have myelinated nerve
F bers branching into them. A cut into the cerebellum reveals
a treelike pattern of white matter, called the
rounded by gray matter. A number of nuclei lie deep within
each cerebellar hemisphere. The largest and most important
The cerebellum communicates with other parts of the
CNS by means of three pairs of nerve tracts called
. One pair,
brings sensory information concern-
ing the position of body parts such as limbs and joints to
The cerebellum, located inferior to the occipital lobes of the cerebrum, communicates with other parts of the nervous system by
means of the cerebellar peduncles.