What Does the Cerebellum Do?


Quick Answer

The cerebellum regulates movement, posture and balance. Some neurobiologists also believe that the cerebellum plays a part in cognition and language because it coordinates the movement of the lips and other organs of speech.

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Full Answer

The cerebellum gets information from the muscles, joints, skin and the organs involved in balance and the eyes and ears. It controls the position and the movement of the body through what's seen and heard. It works automatically, without the person having to consciously guide it. A person whose cerebellum is damaged, for example, would have difficulty controlling the movements of his or her arms, legs and hands. The cerebellum also stores memories of different types of movement.

The cerebellum is a mass of folia found just beneath the hemispheres of the brain. It also has two hemispheres that are joined in the center by the vermis. As its name implies, this structure is somewhat worm-shaped.

Nerve pathways are arranged so that the right half of the cerebellum is connected to the left side of the forebrain and the right side of the body. The nerve pathways from the left half of the cerebellum connect with the right side of the forebrain and the left side of the body.

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