Cerebellar cortex

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Cerebellar Cortex

The cerebellar cortex is the outer layer of the cerebellum, a part of the brain that plays a vital role in motor control. It may also be involved in some cognitive functions such as attention and language, and in regulating fear and pleasure responses.

Structure[edit | edit source]

The cerebellar cortex is divided into three layers: the molecular layer, the Purkinje cell layer, and the granular layer. Each of these layers has a distinct structure and function.

Molecular Layer[edit | edit source]

The molecular layer is the outermost layer of the cerebellar cortex. It contains few neurons, mainly consisting of the dendrites of Purkinje cells and the axons of granule cells.

Purkinje Cell Layer[edit | edit source]

The Purkinje cell layer is a narrow zone that contains the cell bodies of Purkinje cells, the primary output neurons of the cerebellar cortex. These cells send inhibitory projections to the deep cerebellar nuclei, and constitute the sole output of all motor coordination in the cerebellar cortex.

Granular Layer[edit | edit source]

The granular layer is the innermost layer of the cerebellar cortex. It contains small granule cells that send excitatory projections to the dendrites of the Purkinje cells.

Function[edit | edit source]

The cerebellar cortex plays a crucial role in motor control, including motor coordination, precision, and accurate timing. It receives input from sensory systems of the spinal cord and from other parts of the brain, and integrates these inputs to fine-tune motor activity.

Clinical Significance[edit | edit source]

Damage to the cerebellar cortex can result in a number of neurological disorders, including ataxia, which is characterized by a lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements, and cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome, which is characterized by impairments in executive function, spatial cognition, language, and affect.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD