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Cerebellum - Role in Eye Movements

Synonyms

Oculomotor cerebellum; Vestibulocerebellum

Definition

As with other motor systems, circumscribed parts of the cerebellar cortex and deep cerebellar nuclei participate in the generation and control of eye movements. These eye movements include Saccades, smooth pursuit (smooth pursuit eye movements), the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR), and Vergence [1]. Visual and vestibular signals and oculomotor command signals arise from relay nuclei in the brainstem, are processed in the cerebellum, and project back to the brainstem where they are ultimately conveyed to the ocular motor nuclei. Such trans-cerebellar pathways that mediate the generation of saccades and the VOR each parallel a more direct pathway confined to the brainstem, as is typical of other motor systems. However, trans-cerebellar pathways that mediate the generation of smooth pursuit do not appear to have a direct counterpart in the brainstem.

Characteristics

Parts of the Cerebellum