Function of the Cerebellum and Cerebellum Anatomy

The cerebellum is one of the three major parts of the brain. Medulloblastoma starts in the cerebellum. Learning about the location and function of the cerebellum can help you understand why someone diagnosed with medulloblastoma experiences certain symptoms.

The brain’s three major parts are:

  1. Cerebrum
  2. Brain stem
  3. Cerebellum
Diagram of the brain with the cerebellum highlighted

Location of the Cerebellum

The cerebellum is located in an area of the brain called the posterior fossa. The posterior fossa is simply a name for a location within the brain. It is in the lower back portion of the brain.

The cerebellum sits between the cerebrum and the brain stem. It has two hemispheres — a left and a right — and it is packed with neurons.

What the Cerebellum Controls

When you ride a bike, drive a car, or play an instrument, your cerebellum is at work. This part of the brain makes sure movements are fluid and in sync with one another.

The cerebellum controls the following in the human body:

  • Balance and posture – keeping you steady and upright
  • Coordinated movement – such as buttoning a shirt
  • Motor learning – helping you learn movements that later become “muscle memory,” for example, dribbling a basketball

This is why, if someone has a tumor located in the cerebellum, they often will experience issues with balance and/or posture, motor skills like writing and drawing, or have trouble walking.