The cerebellar vermis is a narrow, worm shaped structure in between both sides of the cerebellum. The cerebellum is an area in the back, bottom part of the brain that plays an important role in movement and coordination. There is a top portion of the vermis and a bottom portion. The top portion is called the superior cerebellar vermis and the bottom portion is called the inferior cerebellar vermis. The bottom portion is sunken between the two sides of the cerebellum.
WHAT DOES THE CEREBELLAR VERMIS DO? The cerebellar vermis receives information from the spinal cord about the sense of touch and proprioception. Proprioception is the ability to sense or perceive the spatial position and movements of your body. The cerebellar vermis also receives information from the body about hearing, vision, and balance. The cerebellar vermis contains representations of the body and helps control the execution of movements of the neck, shoulders, hips, and other areas. It appears to do this by correcting the movements based on feedback from the brain and the spine. Specifically, the cerebellar vermis compares the intended motor command that originated in the brain versus the sensations it receives from the spine.
The cerebellar vermis (pictured to the left) uses the feedback mentioned above to compute the required positions of the body parts at any given time. The cerebellar vermis then helps correct the movements to make sure that the motor command is performed according to plan. It helps the muscles move at the proper time and sequence. It also helps the muscles apply the appropriate level of force during rapid, sequential movements. The cerebellar vermis also helps to control muscle tone (the level of tension in the muscles). Damage to the cerebellar vermis can lead to cerebellar ataxia, which is a loss of muscle coordination caused by cerebellum damage.
WHAT ELSE IS THE CEREBELLAR VERMIS KNOWN AS?
The cerebellar vermis is also known as the vermis cerebelli and the vermis of cerebellum.
WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THE TERM, CEREBELLAR VERMIS? Cerebellar vermis comes from the Latin word "cerebellum" meaning "small brain" and the Latin word "vermis" meaning "worm." Put the words together and you have "worm (of the) small brain."