lin-da – I honestly believe you’ve misunderstood the statement about a lack of motivation.
In the brain, in neuroscience, motivation is a desire to perform an action is usually defined as having two parts, directional such as directed towards a positive stimulus or away from a negative one, as well as the activated “seeking phase” and consummatory “liking phase”. This type of motivation has neurobiological roots in the basal ganglia and mesolimbic, dopaminergic pathways.
Activated “seeking” behavior, such as locomotor activity, is influenced by dopaminergic drugs, and experiments reveal that dopamine is released during the anticipation of a reward.
When your brain isn’t working correctly, when the cerebellum is damaged or wired differently then average than you may not have the same reaction to the release of dopamine in the brain – the dopamine may not even be releasing in a normal way. Therefore, the motivation created by dopamine release is lacking.
It’s not about your emotional willingness or strength do something that’s lacking, it’s the chemical reaction in your brain that’s lacking (or different) that’s creating a lack of what would be considered “standard” motivational reaction.
I would hazard to say another example would be a clinically depressed person. They often lack motivation to do every day things, not because the can’t or don’t want to, but because the dopamine in their brains isn’t being used correctly (many anti-depressant drugs work on dopamines and seratontins) making it impossible for them to function normally.
To me, this most recent research is saying ataxia may have a link to this same issue of brain chemistry and that the cerebellum is actually much more important than first thought.