The cerebellum is located just
above the brain stem and toward the back of the brain, where
it is well-protected from trauma. Called the "little brain" because
it is folded in similar convolutions to those of cerebral cortex,
only smaller, like the cerebrum the cerebellum has an outer
cortex, with white matter inside and nuclei below. Acting
as an excitatory counter to the basal ganglia's inhibitory
mode, this organ coordinates movement, balance, and equilibrium.
The first temple
of Ceres at Rome was dedicated in 496 B.C., and soon assumed
considerable political importance, as her temple became somewhat
of a state library, in which senatorial decrees and other official
documents were deposited for public inspection. She was
called "Ceres the Lawgiver." She also presided
over rites of birth, marriage, divorce, and death, "tracing
just frontiers" of the Roman Empire.
By synthesizing data from brain
stem, spinal cord, and cerebral cortex with input from muscles
and other areas, the cerebellum censors articulations of the muscles and joints, and thus may play
a major role in the development of these activities. Here instructions
for skilled repetitive movements are refined and then rerouted.
Here, also new skills, learned by trial and error, are coded
into the cerebellum's memory.
root of Ceres may be crescere "to come forth,
grow, arise, be born, and to create. After arriving in
Rome, she assumed the myth of Demeter, the Greek Goddess of
the fertility of the fields. Demeter's daughter, Persephone, "Queen
of the Underworld," was re-named Proserpina. She also
has an association with Dionysus, with the grape vine
Injury to the cerebellum can result
in movements that are slow and uncoordinated. There can also
be an inability to judge distance and perform rapidly alternating
movements, slurred speech, and a tendency to stagger and to fall. Although
it only makes up 1/10th of the brain's volume, the cerebellum
contains more than 50% its neurons, causing researchers
suspect that it plays a larger role in Brain's schema than is
Ceres is depicted sitting
on the chest, the kiste, that contains the sacred objects
of Demeter's mysteries that were carried from Athens to Eleusus.
She is a liminal figure, then, generally connected with rites of
passage, and intensification, in which beliefs in an afterlife,
and in the cosmological scheme, were reaffirmed. In addition, Ceres
is the most massive asteroid so far discovered in our solar system.