Cerebellar physiology: links between microcircuitry properties and sensorimotor functions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Existing knowledge of the cerebellar microcircuitry structure and physiology allows a rather detailed description of what it in itself can and cannot do. Combined with a known mapping of different cerebellar regions to afferent systems and motor output target structures, there are several constraints that can be used to describe how specific components of the cerebellar microcircuitry may work during sensorimotor control. In fact, as described in this review, the major factor that hampers further progress in understanding cerebellar function is the limited insights into the circuitry-level function of the targeted motor output systems and the nature of the information in the mossy fiber afferents. The cerebellar circuitry in itself is here summarized as a gigantic associative memory element, primarily consisting of the parallel fiber synapses, whereas most other circuitry components, including the climbing fiber system, primarily has the role of maintaining activity balance in the intracerebellar and extracerebellar circuitry. The review explores the consistency of this novel interpretational framework with multiple diverse observations at the synaptic and microcircuitry level within the cerebellum. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-27
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Neurosciences

Free keywords

  • cerebellum
  • climbing fiber
  • mossy fiber
  • motor control
  • neural information
  • neural representation
  • plasticity
  • purkinje cells


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