The cerebellum is a very important part of the brain that is responsible for small and large motor movements, as well as balance and muscle tone. The cerebellum is located towards the back of the brain, behind the brain stem and it is made up of gray and white matter that is divided into three different sections. These sections are known as the archicerebellum, the paleocerebellum, and the neocerebellum.
The three parts
The archicerebellum works in coordination with the flocculonodular lobe of the brain. This area of the brain also sends and receives messages from the vestibular nuclei. This can be looked at as a kind of loop that is continuously running in the cerebellum and it mainly controls eye movement functions.
The paleocerebellum is connected to the spinocerebellar, which is what forces the legs to move after receiving signals from the brain. This is very important as the paleocerebellum is responsible for muscle tone and movement. This part of the cerebellum is also very important for posture.
The neocerebellum works in association with the pontocerebellar tract and it’s responsible for motor movement, particularly fine motor movement such as fingers typing on a keyboard.
Damage to the cerebellum
Because the cerebellum is well protected by the frontal and temporal lobes, as well as the brain stem, it is usually not affected by trauma to the brain. However, when damage does occur to the cerebellum, it can cause problems with coordination, distance perception, and problems with walking and posture.