Reflections on the Cerebellum by Dr. Matthew Holahan

Reflections on the Cerebellum by Dr. Matthew Holahan

What inspired this image was the emergence of spring, which, with it, brings improved mental health. Also, from a more personal perspective that I have a view of the world in my brain whereby many things in nature I see become reflections of the brain. In this case, I saw what looked like a sagittal section of a cerebellum and a Purkinje cell reflected in a puddle. How is this relevant to mental health? Briefly, the human cerebellum contains more neurons than the rest of the brain put together, but only takes up 10% of the total brain volume. Its main functions are in motor control (sensorimotor feedback, error correction, timing) but the cerebellum also plays an important role in attention, language and possibly, fear and pleasure. When one thinks about mental health and/or illness, the cerebellum rarely comes to mind as a typical structure that contributes to mental health or illness. However, with damage to the cerebellum known to produce impairments in fine movement, equilibrium and posture, imagine how your mental health would be affected if these basic functions were altered.

About The Artist

Dr. Matthew Holahan is a professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Carleton University.

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