The cerebellum (ser"e-bel'um) is a large mass of tissue located inferior to the occipital lobes of the cerebrum and posterior to the pons and medulla oblongata (see figs. 11.15 and 11.22). It consists of two lateral hemispheres partially separated by a layer of dura mater called the falx cerebelli. A structure called the vermis connects the cerebellar hemispheres at the midline.
Like the cerebrum, the cerebellum is primarily composed of white matter with a thin layer of gray matter, the cerebellar cortex, on its surface. This cortex doubles over on itself in a series of complex folds that have myelinated nerve fibers branching into them. A cut into the cerebellum reveals a treelike pattern of white matter, called the arbor vitae, that is surrounded by gray matter. A number of nuclei lie deep within each cerebellar hemisphere. The largest and most important is the dentate nucleus.
The cerebellum communicates with other parts of the central nervous system by means of three pairs of nerve tracts called cerebellar peduncles (ser"ei-bel'ar
The cerebellum, which is located below the occipital lobes of the cerebrum, communicates with other parts of the nervous system by means of the cerebellar peduncles.
Splenium of corpus callosum
Pons Middle peduncle Inferior peduncle
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