Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cerebellum and Motor learning!

Hello everybody!
Let's today learn about cerebellum and how amazing it is.

So all of us know that walking, swimming or typing needs conscious effort while being learnt for the first time, but after learning, one can continue these activities mechanically without having to think about them.

After learning, the responsibility for these activities seems to shift more and more to the cerebellum leaving the cerebral cortex free for other tasks.

That is why a child who is learning to walk has to put all his mind into it. Any distraction may make him fall. But as adults we can multitask along with walking.

Let's see how this happens.
There is evidence that cerebellar circuits can undergo functional changes as a result of experience.
The climbing fibres play an important role in this process. (bring information only from the inferior olivary nuclei, and establish excitatory synapses with Purkinje cells)
In a new situation, the climbing fibre activity is high, and it tends to reduce mossy fibre activity.
(Mossy fiber excitation not only stimulates Specific Purkinge cells but also inhibits the neighbouring Purkinge Cells.)
On repeated exposure to stimulus while learning, the mossy fibre response gets stabilized at the low level without an increase in the climbing fibre activity and the Cerebellar efferents perform the function semiautonomously on stabilized afferent input.

Thus Cerebellar learning may spare the cerebral cortex in the learnt movements.

I hope this was informative.

Let's learn together!
-Medha.

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