The cerebellum, like the cerebrum, receives sensory input from muscle spindles and Golgi tendon organs. It also receives fibers from areas of the cerebral cortex devoted to vision, hearing, and equilibrium.
There are no descending tracts from the cerebellum. The cerebellum can influence motor activity only indirectly, through its output to the vestibular nuclei, red nucleus, and basal nuclei. These structures, in turn, affect lower motor neurons via the vestibu-lospinal tract, rubrospinal tract, and reticulospinal tract. It is interesting that all output from the cerebellum is inhibitory; these inhibitory effects aid motor coordination by eliminating inappropriate neural activity. Damage to the cerebellum interferes with the ability to coordinate movements with spatial judgment. Under- or overreaching for an object may occur, followed by intention tremor, in which the limb moves back and forth in a pendulum-like motion.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.