We reported previously that patients with cerebellar deficits were unable to scale the magnitude of their early automatic postural responses to the predicted amplitudes of surface translations based on central set from prior experience. The present study investigated whether this deficit in set-dependent amplitude scaling was based predominately on the cerebellar patient's disability (i) to predict perturbation amplitudes on the basis of prior experience, (ii) to scale the gain or magnitude of upcoming postural responses or (iii) to habituate postural responses. The increase in size of the early postural response when a larger than actual platform amplitude was expected and decrease when a smaller one was expected was defined as a measure of set-dependent amplitude prediction. The suppression of the postural response when the same platform velocity was repented was used as a measure of habituation. The correlation between the size of early postural responses and platform amplitudes when presented serially, but not randomly tested the ability to scale the gain of postural responses based on prior experience. Results show that although cerebellar patients could predict perturbation amplitudes based on prior experience, they could not use this prediction to modify precisely the gain of responses. The ability to habituate the magnitude of postural responses was not affected by cerebellar lesions. Thus, the cerebellum might not be critical for predicting upcoming events or for habituating to repented postural stimuli, although it is important for accurate tuning of response gain based on prediction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology