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Consensus paper: the role of the cerebellum in perceptual processes.
Publication types: Journal Article Publication Status: ppublish
Various lines of evidence accumulated over the past 30 years indicate that the cerebellum, long recognized as essential for motor control, also has considerable influence on perceptual processes. In this paper, we bring together experts from psychology and neuroscience, with the aim of providing a succinct but comprehensive overview of key findings related to the involvement of the cerebellum in sensory perception. The contributions cover such topics as anatomical and functional connectivity, evolutionary and comparative perspectives, visual and auditory processing, biological motion perception, nociception, self-motion, timing, predictive processing, and perceptual sequencing. While no single explanation has yet emerged concerning the role of the cerebellum in perceptual processes, this consensus paper summarizes the impressive empirical evidence on this problem and highlights diversities as well as commonalities between existing hypotheses. In addition to work with healthy individuals and patients with cerebellar disorders, it is also apparent that several neurological conditions in which perceptual disturbances occur, including autism and schizophrenia, are associated with cerebellar pathology. A better understanding of the involvement of the cerebellum in perceptual processes will thus likely be important for identifying and treating perceptual deficits that may at present go unnoticed and untreated. This paper provides a useful framework for further debate and empirical investigations into the influence of the cerebellum on sensory perception.
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