About this Research Topic
The cerebellum is involved in a wide range of behaviors including the coordination of reflex and voluntary movements, postural adjustments required to maintain balance, and the learning of new motor skills. An increasing body of evidence also indicates that its role extends to cognition and affect and the control of the autonomic system.
A striking feature of the cerebellum is that it contains more than 80% of the brain's neurons and so it has at its disposal an incredible amount of computing power. Considering the cerebellum from a computational perspective has a long history going back to the classic work of Albus and Marr and Ito. New insights into the anatomy and physiology of cerebellar circuits lead to revised thinking about how these circuits may process information - e.g. multiple sites of plasticity; heterogeneity in structure and function such as zebrin bands; synchronous activity. It seems likely that the cerebellum is specialized to perform some specific type of computation in a way that is reflected in its architecture and histology, with different regional variations of the cerebellar structure reflected different computational role this type of computation can play. This makes it an important area for studying models of computation: models of cerebellar computation could be effective in describing not just the role of the cerebellum, but also in providing a route to universally useful theories of whole brain function.
This Research Topic will provide a forum through which to explore computation in the cerebellum by focusing on experimental and theoretical insights into the neural dynamics of the cerebellum at levels spanning ions, cells, microcircuits and the interaction of the cerebellum with other areas of the central nervous system.
Keywords: cerebellum, networks, computation, modelling, microcircuits
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