Flocculonodular Lobe

Can you identify the flocculonodular lobe?*

Usually, I’m not very good at gauging the outcome of exams. Sometimes, following a test, I feel as if I’ve been eviscerated. Sometimes, I feel like a wounded soldier, staggering home with the last of my strength. Sometimes, I feel a heavy sense of doom. And sometimes, like on Monday after Mini I, I feel this eerie sense of calm. I can never rely on any of the first three feelings because occasionally, the foreboding is warranted while other times, I’m just worried for nothing. But that peculiar calm…I never recognize it for what it is. The last time I felt it (prior to Monday) was during an Orgo exam while I was an HCP student. It was the second midterm and boy, was it tricky, but somehow, I finished early and spent the last 20 minutes sitting in my seat, serenely reflecting. An awesome tranquility had come over me and it wasn’t like a ‘yeah, I rocked that!’ sort of confidence but it was more like the feeling you get when you wake up after a good night’s sleep on a Saturday morning – unhurried, unharried and clear-minded. It wasn’t until I got my score (a 94) that I realized the significance of that feeling. And here again, I didn’t get that that was what was going on on Monday until I got my scores today: 3 As and 2 Bs.

However, this triumph is bittersweet. Prior to the exam, I’d continued my routine of studying with my pals but neither of them scored as well as I did. In fact, the one of us with the highest GPA scored the lowest overall, so now I feel guilty. Did our group study sessions hinder him? Is it our fault he didn’t do so well? How can I truly rejoice when my friend can’t be happy along with me? For now, I’m keeping my scores under wraps. In my excitement, I couldn’t help but call home and squeal on my parents’ answering machine but I won’t be broadcasting my success around campus.

I’m really grateful to have this nice cushion on Mini I because semester two gets more grueling as we go along, culminating in 2 weeks of Hell with Mini III and the shelf exams right before Christmas break. Even though it’s only October, those things come up quicker than one thinks. The first anatomy practical is next week and the following week, we have our neuroscience practical, then Mini II…I’d better bask in this feeling while I still can afford to take the time to do so…

…but I still love brains. The coolest thing we’ve covered this week is the flocculonodular lobe, a portion of the posterior cerebellum related to the vestibular system. Efferents from this region project to the nuclei of cranial nerves involved in eye movement so lesions in this area can lead to conditions like nystagmus and truncal and/or gait ataxia. Okay…maybe it doesn’t seem that awesome to regular people, but if you’d heard Dr. Chaudhary say it, you’d think it was awesome too.

*It’s the area marked “10”.

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2 Comments on “Flocculonodular Lobe”

  1. Gemma Says:

    Well, I can say congrats too.

    You rock!

  2. […] mentioned the Fortnight of Hell before but this time, I won’t exaggerate – it’s 9 examinations beginning […]

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