CogniFit's Science blog: Motor Control And Your Cerebellum

Motor Control And Your Cerebellum

While there are many pieces of the brain that allows it to function at such a high consistency, it is the cerebellum that has full control over your motor control. Think of it as the brain center as it controls voluntary muscles, muscle tone and the overall maintenance of balance.

Its primary responsibilities lie within motor control, equilibrium, balance and muscle tone. It is a part of the central nervous system and regulates movement control by timing in motor activities and smooth and rapid progression between movements.

With a size no larger than that of a fist, it is amazing that such a small piece of the puzzle can have such a great affect on the overall picture. It rests behind the cerebral cortex of the brain in order to protect itself from injury. And while many long believed it to be a silent area of the central nervous system, its true role is now fully understood.

The cerebellum comprises more neurons than the rest of the brain put together while receiving an incredible amount of 200 million incoming neural connections. With the structure divided into three lobes, it can efficiently process all information that comes and goes.

One of the primary brain functions of the cerebellum rests within motor control. It continuously receives information on the sequence of movements that are desired by the motor control areas of the cortex. And to many people’s disbelief, it actually behaves much like an intricate and intelligent computer.

It is constantly comparing the actual movement of the muscle groups with the motions that are intended by the motor cortex. Movement coordination is crucial to everyday life and the cooperation between the cerebellum and motor control is what makes it all possible.

This is just one of three primary areas of focus for the cerebellum with the other two consisting of containing muscle tone and posture and undergoing maintenance of balance. It is a highly sophisticated component to the human brain and life in general, and researchers continue to learn more and more about it by the day.

Few recognize everything that goes into motor control, but it is complex process that is simplified thanks to the cerebellum. With millions of neural connections and three lobes to separate everything out, the information gets sorted out just the way it needs to in order for everything to run as smoothly as possible. And as a result, the cooperation between motor control and the cerebellum keeps humans moving along day in and day out.