Leading neuroscientist Dr. Masao Ito advances a detailed and fascinating view of what the cerebellum contributes to brain function. The cerebellum has been seen as primarily involved in coordination of body movement control, facilitating the learning of motor skills such as those involved in walking, riding a bicycle, or playing a piano. The cerebellum is now viewed as an assembly of numerous neuronal machine modules, each of which provides an implicit learning capability to various types of motor control. The cerebellum enables us to unconsciously learn motor skills through practice by forming internal models simulating control system properties of the body parts.
Based on these remarkable advances in our understanding of motor control mechanisms of the cerebellum, Ito presents a still larger view of the cerebellum as serving a higher level of brain functions beyond movements, including the implicit part of the thought and cognitive processes that manipulate knowledge. Ito extends his investigation of the cerebellum to discuss neural processes that may be involved implicitly in such complex mental actions as having an intuition, imagination, hallucination, or delusion.
Masao Ito is professor emeritus and former dean of the medical faculty at the University of Tokyo, and the founding director of the RIKEN Brain Science Institute. He has served as president of many international scientific organizations, including the International Brain Research Organization, the International Union of Physiological Sciences, the Human Frontier Science Program, the Science Council of Japan, and the Japan Neuroscience Society. Dr. Ito won the 1996 Japan Prize and the 2006 Gruber Prize in Neuroscience.
Chapter 1: Neuronal Circuitry: The Key to Unlocking the Brain 1
Chapter 2: Traditional Views of the Cerebellum 22
Chapter 3: The Cerebellum as a Neuronal Machine 29
Chapter 4: Input and Output Pathways in the Cerebellar Cortex 44
Chapter 5: Inhibitory Interneurons and Glial Cells in the Cerebellar Cortex 51
Chapter 6: Pre- and Post-Cerebellar Neurons 60
Chapter 7: Conjunctive Long-Term Depression (LTD) 69
Chapter 8: Multiplicity and Persistency of Synaptic Plasticity 81
Chapter 9: Network Models 90
Chapter 10: Ocular Reflexes 105
Chapter 11: Somatic and Autonomic Reflexes 121
Chapter 12: Adaptive Control System Models 139
Chapter 13: Voluntary Motor Control 150
Chapter 14: Voluntary Eye Movement 159
Chapter 15: Internal Models for Voluntary Motor Control 167
Chapter 16: Motor Actions and Tool Use 181
Chapter 17: Cognitive Functions 193
Chapter 18: Concluding Thoughts 204