About this Research Topic
Abstracts can be found here: http://www.frontiersin.org/events/The_Cerebellum_inside_out_cells_circuits_and_functions_/4220
The cerebellum is a complex brain structure that subserves sensori-motor control functions but also plays a key role in cognition. The interest of this special topic will be to move across different levels of current knowledge and promote cross-fertilization among research fields. On the one hand, the cerebellar microcircuit is amongst the most investigated ever and has inspired fundamental neurophysiological theories. On the other hand cerebellar dysfunction is at the base of a complex set of motor and non-motor pathologies that are only recently coming to light. In this issue, we will move from cellular and molecular biophysics of the cerebellar neurons and circuits up to integrative aspects of cerebellar functioning and pathology. The field is rapidly growing and, although much interest has been devoted in the past to the cerebral cortex, much remains to be done on the cerebellar side. A set of papers will cover this range of experimental approaches allowing to integrate cerebellar mechanisms of functions on the micro-, meso and macro-scale and to pilot future experimentation and modeling. Moreover, the papers will consider how to apply the fundamental knowledge on cerebellar functioning to the analysis of brain pathologies in animal models and humans, ranging from hereditary ataxias to multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases and autism. This special topic will build on the discussion and experience matured in the 2016 course of the International School of Brain cells and Circuits (Ettore Majorana foundation and centre for scientific culture, Erice, Italy), that will gather scientists from different disciplines to answer critical questions:
Can studying the cerebellum help to understand cognition and cognitive dysfunction ?
What is the role of the cerebellum in systemic neurological diseases?
Key or secondary role of cerebellum in neurodegenerative disorders?
We believe that this special topic will provide an insightful perspective from cellular neuroscience into future applications in biomedical research.
Keywords: Cerebellum, motor control, Cognition, Purkinje Cells, Ataxia, microcircuitry, synaptic plasticity, MRI, intrinsic excitability
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