5. Learning a New Motor Response

  1. Dianne M. Broussard

Published Online: 23 AUG 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118730133.ch5

The Cerebellum: Learning Movement, Language, and Social Skills

The Cerebellum: Learning Movement, Language, and Social Skills

How to Cite

Broussard, D. M. (2013) Learning a New Motor Response, in The Cerebellum: Learning Movement, Language, and Social Skills, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118730133.ch5

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 AUG 2013
  2. Published Print: 15 AUG 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118125632

Online ISBN: 9781118730133

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Keywords:

  • cerebellar cortex;
  • learning;
  • motor pathway;
  • nictitating membrane response (NMR)

Summary

Dogs, cats, and many other mammals have a nictitating membrane or “third eyelid” that can protect the cornea; birds and reptiles also have this structure. The rabbit's nictitating membrane response (NMR) is a quick reflex that closes the membrane. The same signals also go directly to motor pathways, so that the air puff always results in an NMR. Output from the interpositus reaches the red nucleus, part of the motor pathway for the NMR. In this chapter, the author proposes a new interpretation of the NMR results. The cerebellar cortex is necessary both for learning and for long-term storage of NMR memory. The long-term memory trace must somehow contain the information needed to generate the timed NMR. Some of the confusion has arisen because the NMR is a new motor task, and takes some time to appear.