Monday, May 28, 2018

"I Will Spew Thee Out of My Mouth" or Why the Cerebellum Cannot Speak


I changed my mind about writing an article on the purpose of cortical columns. Too risky in my opinion. Instead, I decided to write about the cerebellum, an important but a much less disruptive part of the brain. In this article, I argue against the hypothesis promoted by some in the neuroscience community that the cerebellum contributes to speech generation. Caveat: This article is for believers only.

The Zombie in the Back of Our Head

The cerebellum means little brain in Latin. It is smaller than the neocortex but don't let this fool you. It contains more neurons than the rest of the brain. It is an unconscious supervised neural network that handles a large number of routine but important sensorimotor tasks while the conscious cortex is busy with other matters. Examples are walking, running, balancing, maintaining posture, etc. The cerebellum makes it possible for the brain to multitask.

It is probably best to think of the cerebellum as an automaton, a robotic assistant to the cerebrum, the conscious or volitional part of the brain. The cerebellum can neither learn nor initiate a task on its own. It is entirely subservient to the neocortex and fully dependent on it for its training. It is a mindless zombie in that it does what it is told to do without question. It will make mistakes because it cannot handle new situations that it was not programmed to handle. This is why it's not a good idea to drive or even walk while texting.

No Speech For You

Mainstream neuroscientists incorrectly attribute speech production capability to the cerebellum. They do so for two reasons. First, they do not understand the purpose and function of the cerebellum. Second, they misinterpret clinical data showing speech impairments in patients with cerebellar lesions. The truth is that speech production is a fully conscious phenomenon that requires no input from the cerebellum. Speech difficulties arise only because the conscious cortex cannot focus on more than one thing at a time and must attend to important tasks that it would normally rely on the cerebellum to handle automatically.

People with cerebellar disorders must find ways to compensate for the deficiency. Depending on the severity of the problem, some stop talking altogether (a condition called mutism) because they are forced to focus their attention almost exclusively on sensorimotor tasks (e.g, walking, maintaining posture and balance, etc.) Others learn to speak in a staccato voice (often accompanied by a trembling posture) during which they rapidly switch their attention between speech generation and sensorimotor tasks. It is a form of imperfect multitasking.

Interestingly enough (and this supports my claim that the cerebellum does not produce speech), people with speech impairment caused by cerebellar disorders can sometimes speak normally. Their voices can return to normal if they lie down in a relaxed position which relieves them of the necessity to attend to other tasks.

I Will Spew Thee Out of My Mouth

I initially became interested in the cerebellum after deciphering the occult message to the Church in Laodicea in the Book of Revelation.
14 “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: ‘These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God:
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, “I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing,” and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable, and poor and blind and naked,
18 I counsel thee to buy from Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear, and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.
21 To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with Me on My throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father on His throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!’”
It did not take me long to figure out that the Laodicea message was a description of the cerebellum and that verses 15 and 16 obviously meant that the cerebellum was not involved in activating muscles used by the mouth and tongue. But why? We are told that it is because the Church of Laodicea is "neither cold nor hot." What does this mean? It means that the cerebellum is not controlled by emotions. It has neither likes nor dislikes, i.e., no motivation or goals. It is a zombie. Speech production must always be a volitional and conscious process because it requires intent.

Coming Soon

The cerebellum is a fascinating neural network consisting of many highly specialized sub-networks. As always, the occult texts can pack a lot of amazing information in just a few short verses. This is the power of metaphors. The Book of Revelation gives a detailed description of its organization and function. I'm a little busy right now but I plan to write an article to explain how the cerebellum is organized, what type of sensory signals it receives, how it learns directly from the motor cortex and how sensorimotor programs are activated. Stay tuned.

See Also:

The Yin-Yang Brain: Even Faster Learning Using Spike Timing

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