It is a structure located in the back of the brain , of which it represents about one tenth of the entire volume. Always associated with movement and balance , in reality it also performs functions in the cognitive field (for example, in language). The problems that are typically associated with damage to this structure relate to balance, posture and movement .
What is the cerebellum?
Located at the base of the brain, just above the brain stem (the point where the spinal cord and brain join) and below the occipital and temporal lobes of the cerebral cortex, the cerebellum is a structure that is formed by two hemispheres within which there are more than 50% of the neurons that are contained in the entire brain, of which it represents about 10% of the volume.
It is historically considered the seat of movement control . In fact, damage to the cerebellum compromises both posture and motor skills, but in reality the impulses to movement do not arise here. Rather, this structure receives information from the sense organs, the spinal cord and other parts of the brain to then coordinate posture, balance, voluntary movements and speech, making them more accurate.
What is the cerebellum for?
By integrating information from the brain, spinal cord and sense organs, it takes part in various functions that can be associated with movement . Without this structure it would not be possible to learn to perform, for example, the precise movements that are necessary to practice a sport ; it therefore plays a fundamental role in learning to move.
It also allows you to set your posture to stay balanced. Receiving information from the vestibular receptors in the ear and from the proprioceptors that allow you to sense the position of the body in space, the cerebellum regulates the activity of motor neurons in order to compensate for changes in the position of the body or the load to which the muscles are subjected . It also coordinates the voluntary movements which, in most cases, are made possible by the simultaneous activation of multiple muscles, allowing the body, arms and legs to move smoothly .
Finally, it also plays a role in cognitive functions . Although its involvement in this field is still not entirely clear from a scientific point of view, it is however known that this structure is important – for example – to guarantee good language skills .