Where is the cerebellum located?

The cerebellum, also known as the small brain, is tucked underneath the cerebral hemispheres. Anatomically speaking, it’s underlying two lobes (the occipital and the temporal) and has about 10% of the brain’s volume. Basically, it’s underneath of the cerebral cortex, just to the right of the pons (section of the brainstem that connects the medulla oblongata to the thalamus). Better said, the pons is in a ventral position to the cerebellum.

The cerebellum is covered by a thick layer of dura mater (the outermost layer of the meninges, responsible for keeping in place the CSF – the cerebrospinal fluid produced by the choroids plexus). Despite of its relatively small size (has only 1/10 of the brain’s volume), it has 50% of the total number of neurons (nerve cells) in the brain.

In terms of structure, the small brain has:

  • location of cerebellumAn extremely tight layer of cortex;
  • White mater, especially in the dura mater;
  • Some deep nuclei “bathed” inside the white matter;
  • A ventricle at the bottom that acts as a reservoir for the CSF. Usually, it’s referred to as a fluid-filled (with cerebrospinal liquid) ventricle;

Why it the cerebellum important?

A short answer would be because it has a very large number of neurons, but also because it’s involved in the movement processes (especially in keeping the equilibrium), in managing fear and in fine movement coordination. While it’s not the brain part that determines the movement per se, it is more of a fine-tuning organ that help the motor centers to understand how should accurate movements should look like and how much effort should the body put in order to do them successfully.

Basically, without the cerebellum, the humans would not be able to walk in 2 legs, nor maintain balance even for a single second.

Leave a Reply