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Cerebellar cortex

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Describe the anatomy of the cerebellar cortex.
  2. Identify the lobes and lobules of the cerebellum.
  3. List the afferent and efferent connections of the cerebellar cortex according to its subdivisions and zones.

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The cerebellum is the part of the brain which lies posterior (dorsal) to the pons and medulla. It sits in the posterior cranial fossa beneath the occipital lobe of the cerebrum, from which it is separated by the tentorium cerebelli. It is connected to the brainstem by three sets of large bilateral nerve fiber bundles known as cerebellar peduncles.

At a gross level, the cerebrum is built around a central vermis which is flanked on either side by a cerebellar hemisphere. It has three surfaces: superior (tentorial), anterior (petrosal) and inferior (suboccipital). All are highly convoluted and bear deep fissures that divide the cerebellum into lobes that are further subdivided into lobules. The surface of the cerebellum is much more tightly folded compared to the cerebral cortex and is marked with fine gyri known as folia.

The cerebellum receives input from peripheral receptors and motor centers in the spinal cord, the visual and vestibular apparatus as well as cerebrum and brainstem; it is responsible for integrating these inputs to ensure coordination of movement, balance and posture, as well as motor learning.

This video will help you learn more about the surface anatomy of the cerebellum.

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Browse atlas


Key points about the cerebellar cortex
Lobes Anterior, posterior, flocculonodular lobes
Lobules Vermis: Lingula (I), central (II & III), culmen (IV & V), declive (VI), folium (VIIA), tuber (VIIB), pyramis (VIII), uvula (IX), nodule (X)

Vincingulum (HI), wing of central lobule (HII & HIII), anterior quadrangular lobule (HIV & HV), posterior quadrangular (simple) lobule (HVI), superior/inferior semilunar lobules (HVIIA), gracile lobule (HVIIB), biventral lobule (HVIII), tonsil of cerebellum (HIX), flocculus (HX)
Fissures Interlobar: Primary (preclival) fissure, posterolateral fissure
Anterior lobe:
Precentral/postcentral fissures
Posterior lobe:
Superior posterior (postclival), horizontal, lunogracile, prebiventral/prepryamidal and secondary fissures
Subdivisions Spinocerebellum: afferents from spinal cord
afferents from cerebrum (via pons)
afferents form vestibular and visual apparatus

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