The cerebrum and cerebellum are two of the four main regions of the brain. People often confuse them because of their sound-alike names and similar symmetrical structure. Although both play equally important roles in the brain, there are major differences between these two brain regions.
In this article, we’ll conduct a quick cerebrum vs cerebellum comparison.
To explain how these two parts of the brain are different from each other, we will compare their size, their position in the brain, as well as their main functions.
What Is the Difference Between the Cerebrum vs. Cerebellum?
The most obvious difference between the cerebrum and cerebellum is their size. Accounting for approximately 85% of the brain’s total weight, the cerebrum is the largest region of the brain. The cerebellum, on the other hand, is much smaller. It makes up 10% of the total brain volume.
This doesn’t make the cerebellum any less important, though, seeing as it houses more than half of all neurons in the brain.
One of the distinctions between the cerebrum and cerebellum is that they’re positioned in different places. The cerebrum takes up the entire upper portion of the brain, whereas the cerebellum is located right underneath it, in the lower rear portion of the brain.
The two are separated by dura mater. Rather than having a direct connection, the cerebellum communicates with the cerebrum via the brain stem.
What Is the Function of the Cerebrum and Cerebellum?
The key difference between the cerebrum and the cerebellum is their function.
While the cerebrum is in charge of a variety of thinking-related processes, the cerebellum is primarily responsible for muscle movement and coordination. Although different, their functions complement each other in a way.
What is the main function of the cerebrum?
The cerebrum is in charge of thinking and all other related processes in the brain.
Thinking only helps strengthen what you already have – a brain.– Jim Kwik, Author of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Quest
These processes range from problem solving and judgment to attention and planning. The cerebrum is also in charge of reasoning and learning, as well as emotions and impulse control.
This section of the brain is also responsible for several types of memory, including visual and verbal memory. The former allows you to recognize the faces you’ve seen and the places you’ve been to before, while the latter allows you to learn and understand words and languages.
Finally, the cerebrum is also in charge of interpreting sensory information and organizing it accordingly. Whether you’re moving your finger over the surface of a rock to examine its texture or tasting the dinner you’re making to make sure you’ve seasoned it well, your cerebrum is responsible for it.
What is the main function of the cerebellum?
The cerebellum is primarily responsible for the coordination and fine-tuning of muscle movement.
When your brain decides to make a certain movement, a corresponding signal is generated in the cerebrum and relayed to the cerebellum. The cerebellum then interprets this signal and activates all the muscles you need to make your desired move.
In doing so, the cerebellum ensures that all the muscles are working in sync and that no muscles are providing opposition to the movement. While your body is moving, the cerebellum is also keeping track of changes in your balance and position and signaling the body to adjust them if needed.
Over the last decade, scientists have found evidence that the cerebellum may also be responsible for certain aspects of the thinking process.
Is Cerebellar the Same as Cerebellum?
Yes, the cerebellar is essentially the same as the cerebellum. The latter is a noun that refers to a part of the human brain, while the former is an adjective derived from this noun.
The adjective cerebellar is used to describe objects and disorders pertaining to the cerebellum. For example, cerebellar ataxia is a disorder of the cerebellum that causes coordination and balance problems. Similarly, cerebellar peduncles are the nerves that connect the cerebellum to the brain stem.
Cerebrum vs. Cerebral Cortex: Is There a Difference?
The cerebrum is one of the four main regions of the brain, while the cerebral cortex is a thin layer of gray matter that covers the surface of the cerebrum. Although they are often used interchangeably, the terms cerebrum and cerebral cortex aren’t synonyms.
This means that the cerebral cortex is, in fact, part of the cerebrum along with other structures like the hippocampus and the basal ganglia.
The final word
To ensure that all parts of your brain – including both the cerebellum and the cerebrum – function properly, experts recommend treating your brain like a muscle. As such, you should train your brain to enhance its performance, boost your memory, and improve your thinking skills.