Narender Ramnani : Cerebellar contributions to instrumental learning

Monday, 7 September, 2015 - 11:30 to 13:00

The cerebellum is well-known for its contribution to the control of movement. In particular the cerebellar cortex is well known for its ability to store representations that contribute to the execution skilled movement. It is heavily interconnected with the motor cortex, and some forms of motor learning require an exchange of information through this network. However, other parts of the cerebellar cortex are interconnected with areas of the prefrontal cortex. Prefrontal areas play a dominant role in cognitive control, but do not play major roles in the kinematic control of movement. It has been suggested that these cerebellar areas may store representations that contribute to the skilled execution of cognitive operations. During this lecture, I will discuss a set of studies that explores the connections between the cerebellum and the prefrontal cortex in the primate brain, and the evidence that the cerebellar targets of the prefrontal cortex are engaged in processing the instrumental rules that govern actions and the manner in which cerebellar circuitry may support the automatic processing of such rules.