The indispensable role of the cerebellum in visual divergent thinking
ABSTRACT: Recent research has shown that the cerebellum is involved not only in motor control but also in higher-level activities, which are closely related to creativity. This study aimed to explore the role of the cerebellum in visual divergent thinking based on its intrinsic activity. To this end, we selected the resting-state fMRI data of high- (n?=?22) and low-level creativity groups (n?=?22), and adopted the voxel-wise, seed-wise, and dynamic functional connectivity to identify the differences between the two groups. Furthermore, the topological properties of the cerebello-cerebral network and their relations with visual divergent thinking were calculated. The voxel-wise functional connectivity results indicated group differences across the cerebellar (e.g. lobules VI, VIIb, Crus I, and Crus II) and cerebral regions (e.g. superior frontal cortex, middle frontal cortex, and inferior parietal gyrus), as well as the cerebellar lobules (e.g. lobules VIIIa, IX, and X) and the cerebral brain regions (the cuneus and precentral gyrus). We found a significant correlation between visual divergent thinking and activities of the left lobules VI, VIIb, Crus I, and Crus II, which are associated with executive functions. Our overall results provide novel insight into the important role of the cerebellum in visual divergent thinking.
Project description:The extensive prenatal developmental growth period of the cerebellum renders it vulnerable to unhealthy environmental agents, especially alcohol. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is marked by neurodysmorphology including cerebral and cerebellar volume deficits, but the cerebellar lobular deficit profile has not been delineated. Legacy MRI data of 115 affected and 59 unaffected adolescents and young adults were analyzed for lobular gray matter volume and revealed graded deficits supporting a spectrum of severity. Graded deficits were salient in intracranial volume (ICV), where the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) group was smaller than the fetal alcohol effects (FAE) group, which was smaller than the controls. Adjusting for ICV, volume deficits were present in VIIB and VIIIA of the FAE group and were more widespread in FAS and included lobules I, II, IV, V, VI, Crus II, VIIB, and VIIIA. Graded deficits (FAS < FAE) were consistently present in lobules VI; neither group showed volume deficits in Crus I or IX. Neuroradiological readings blind to diagnosis identified 20 anomalies, 8 involving the cerebellum, 5 of which were in the FAS group. We speculate that the regional cerebellar FASD-related volume deficits may contribute to diagnostically characteristic functional impairment involving emotional control, visuomotor coordination, and postural stability.
Project description:A central principle for understanding the cerebral cortex is that macroscale anatomy reflects a functional hierarchy from primary to transmodal processing. In contrast, the central axis of motor and nonmotor macroscale organization in the cerebellum remains unknown. Here we applied diffusion map embedding to resting-state data from the Human Connectome Project dataset (n = 1003), and show for the first time that cerebellar functional regions follow a gradual organization which progresses from primary (motor) to transmodal (DMN, task-unfocused) regions. A secondary axis extends from task-unfocused to task-focused processing. Further, these two principal gradients revealed novel functional properties of the well-established cerebellar double motor representation (lobules I-VI and VIII), and its relationship with the recently described triple nonmotor representation (lobules VI/Crus I, Crus II/VIIB, IX/X). Functional differences exist not only between the two motor but also between the three nonmotor representations, and second motor representation might share functional similarities with third nonmotor representation.
Project description:The cerebellum processes information from functionally diverse regions of the cerebral cortex. Cerebellar input and output nuclei have connections with prefrontal, parietal, and sensory cortex as well as motor and premotor cortex. However, the topography of the connections between the cerebellar and cerebral cortices remains largely unmapped, as it is relatively unamenable to anatomical methods. We used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to define subregions within the cerebellar cortex based on their functional connectivity with the cerebral cortex. We mapped resting-state functional connectivity voxel-wise across the cerebellar cortex, for cerebral-cortical masks covering prefrontal, motor, somatosensory, posterior parietal, visual, and auditory cortices. We found that the cerebellum can be divided into at least 2 zones: 1) a primary sensorimotor zone (Lobules V, VI, and VIII), which contains overlapping functional connectivity maps for domain-specific motor, somatosensory, visual, and auditory cortices; and 2) a supramodal zone (Lobules VIIa, Crus I, and II), which contains overlapping functional connectivity maps for prefrontal and posterior-parietal cortex. The cortical connectivity of the supramodal zone was driven by regions of frontal and parietal cortex which are not directly involved in sensory or motor processing, including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the frontal pole, and the inferior parietal lobule.
Project description:This case-control study is aimed to investigate the correlation of altered functional connectivity (FC) in cerebellum with cognitive impairment in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). The morphometric and resting-state FC MRI analysis including 46 participants with AD, 32 with aMCI and 42 age-matched normal controls (NCs) were conducted. We compared the cerebellar gray matter volume and cerebellar FC with cerebral cortical regions among three groups. To investigate the relationship of cerebellar FC with cognition, we measure the correlation of significant altered FC and individual cognitive domain. No significant morphometric differences of cerebellum was observed across three groups. The patients with AD had weaker cerebral cortical FCs in bilateral Crus I and left VIIb compared to NCs, and in bilateral Crus I compared to patients with aMCI. For patients with aMCI, the weaker FC were found between right Crus I, left VIIb and cerebral cortical regions compared to NCs. The strength of left cerebellar FC positively correlated with specific cognitive subdomains, including memory, executive function, visuospatial function, and global cognition in AD and aMCI. These findings demonstrated the alteration of cerebellar FC with cerebral cortical regions, and the correlation of cerebellar FC and cognitive impairment in AD and aMCI.
Project description:Ethanol consumption remains a major concern at a world scale in terms of transient or irreversible neurological consequences, with motor, cognitive, or social consequences. Cerebellum is particularly vulnerable to ethanol, both during development and at the adult stage. In adults, chronic alcoholism elicits, in particular, cerebellar vermis atrophy, the anterior lobe of the cerebellum being highly vulnerable. Alcohol-dependent patients develop gait ataxia and lower limb postural tremor. Prenatal exposure to ethanol causes fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), characterized by permanent congenital disabilities in both motor and cognitive domains, including deficits in general intelligence, attention, executive function, language, memory, visual perception, and communication/social skills. Children with FASD show volume deficits in the anterior lobules related to sensorimotor functions (Lobules I, II, IV, V, and VI), and lobules related to cognitive functions (Crus II and Lobule VIIB). Various mechanisms underlie ethanol-induced cell death, with oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress being the main pro-apoptotic mechanisms in alcohol abuse and FASD. Oxidative and ER stresses are induced by thiamine deficiency, especially in alcohol abuse, and are exacerbated by neuroinflammation, particularly in fetal ethanol exposure. Furthermore, exposure to ethanol during the prenatal period interferes with neurotransmission, neurotrophic factors and retinoic acid-mediated signaling, and reduces the number of microglia, which diminishes expected cerebellar development. We highlight the spectrum of cerebellar damage induced by ethanol, emphasizing physiological-based clinical profiles and biological mechanisms leading to cell death and disorganized development.
Project description:Mounting evidence suggests an association between cerebellar atrophy and cognitive impairment in the main frontotemporal dementia syndromes. In contrast, whether cerebellar atrophy is present in the motor syndromes associated with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (corticobasal syndrome and progressive supranuclear palsy) and the extent of its contribution to their cognitive profile remain poorly understood. The current study aimed to comprehensively chart profiles of cognitive impairment in relation to cerebellar atrophy in 49 dementia patients (corticobasal syndrome = 33; progressive supranuclear palsy = 16) compared to 33 age-, sex- and education-matched healthy controls. Relative to controls, corticobasal syndrome and progressive supranuclear palsy patients demonstrated characteristic cognitive impairment, spanning the majority of cognitive domains including attention and processing speed, language, working memory, and executive function with relative preservation of verbal and nonverbal memory. Voxel-based morphometry analysis revealed largely overlapping patterns of cerebellar atrophy in corticobasal syndrome and progressive supranuclear palsy relative to controls, primarily involving bilateral Crus II extending into adjacent lobules VIIb and VIIIa. After controlling for overall cerebral atrophy and disease duration, exploratory voxel-wise general linear model analysis revealed distinct cerebellar subregions differentially implicated across cognitive domains in each patient group. In corticobasal syndrome, reduction in grey matter intensity in the left Crus I was significantly correlated with executive dysfunction. In progressive supranuclear palsy, integrity of the vermis and adjacent right lobules I-IV was significantly associated with language performance. These results are consistent with the well-established role of Crus I in executive functions and provide further supporting evidence for vermal involvement in cognitive processing. The current study presents the first detailed exploration of the role of cerebellar atrophy in cognitive deficits in corticobasal syndrome and progressive supranuclear palsy, offering insights into the cerebellum's contribution to cognitive processing even in neurodegenerative syndromes characterized by motor impairment.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The cerebellum is a target of alcoholism-related brain damage in adults, yet no study has prospectively tracked deviations from normal cerebellar growth trajectories in adolescents before and after initiating drinking.<h4>Methods</h4>Magnetic resonance imaging tracked developmental volume trajectories of 10 cerebellar lobule and vermis tissue constituents in 548 no/low drinking youths age 12 to 21 years at induction into this 5-site, NCANDA (National Consortium on Alcohol and NeuroDevelopment in Adolescence) study. Over the 3- to 4-year longitudinal examination yielding 2043 magnetic resonance imaging scans, 328 youths remained no/low drinkers, whereas 220 initiated substantial drinking after initial neuroimaging.<h4>Results</h4>Normal growth trajectories derived from no/low drinkers indicated that gray matter volumes of lobules V and VI, crus II, lobule VIIB, and lobule X declined faster with age in male youths than in female youths, whereas white matter volumes in crus I and crus II and lobules VIIIA and VIIIB expanded faster in female youths than in male youths; cerebrospinal fluid volume expanded faster in most cerebellar regions of male youths than female youths. Drinkers exhibited accelerated gray matter decline in anterior lobules and vermis, accelerated vermian white matter expansion, and accelerated cerebrospinal fluid volumes expansion of anterior lobules relative to youths who remained no/low drinkers. Analyses including both alcohol and marijuana did not support an independent role for marijuana in alcohol effects on cerebellar gray matter trajectories.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Alcohol use-related cerebellar growth trajectory differences from normal involved anterior lobules and vermis of youths who initiated substantial drinking. These regions are commonly affected in alcohol-dependent adults, raising the possibility that cerebellar structures affected by youthful drinking may be vulnerable to age-alcohol interactions in later adulthood.
Project description:The posterior cerebellar lobules seem to be the anatomical substrate of cognitive cerebellar processes, but their microstructural alterations in multiple sclerosis (MS) remain unclear.To correlate diffusion metrics in lobules VI to VIIIb in persons with clinically isolated syndrome (PwCIS) and in cognitively impaired persons with MS (CIPwMS) with their cognitive performances.Sixty-nine patients (37 PwCIS, 32 CIPwMS) and 36 matched healthy subjects (HS) underwent 3T magnetic resonance imaging, including 3D T1-weighted and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) were calculated within each lobule and in the cerebellar peduncles. We investigated the correlations between cognitive outcomes and the diffusion parameters of cerebellar sub-structures and performed multiple linear regression analysis to predict cognitive disability.FA was generally lower and MD was higher in the cerebellum and specifically in the vermis Crus II, lobules VIIb and VIIIb in CIPwMS compared with PwCIS and HS. In hierarchical regression analyses, 31% of the working memory z score variance was explained by FA in the left lobule VI and in the left superior peduncle. Working memory was also associated with MD in the vermis Crus II. FA in the left lobule VI and right VIIIa predicted part of the information processing speed (IPS) z scores.DTI indicators of cerebellar microstructural damage were associated with cognitive deficits in MS. Our results suggested that cerebellar lobular alterations have an impact on attention, working memory and IPS.
Project description:Prediction errors are thought to drive associative fear learning. Surprisingly little is known about the possible contribution of the cerebellum. To address this question, healthy participants underwent a differential fear conditioning paradigm during 7T magnetic resonance imaging. An event-related design allowed us to separate cerebellar fMRI signals related to the visual conditioned stimulus (CS) from signals related to the subsequent unconditioned stimulus (US; an aversive electric shock). We found significant activation of cerebellar lobules Crus I and VI bilaterally related to the CS+ compared to the CS-. Most importantly, significant activation of lobules Crus I and VI was also present during the unexpected omission of the US in unreinforced CS+ acquisition trials. This activation disappeared during extinction when US omission became expected. These findings provide evidence that the cerebellum has to be added to the neural network processing predictions and prediction errors in the emotional domain.
Project description:Over the past several years, evidence has accumulated showing that the cerebellum plays a significant role in cognitive function. Here we show, in a large genetically informative twin sample (n=430; aged 16-30years), that the cerebellum is strongly, and reliably (n=30 rescans), activated during an n-back working memory task, particularly lobules I-IV, VIIa Crus I and II, IX and the vermis. Monozygotic twin correlations for cerebellar activation were generally much larger than dizygotic twin correlations, consistent with genetic influences. Structural equation models showed that up to 65% of the variance in cerebellar activation during working memory is genetic (averaging 34% across significant voxels), most prominently in the lobules VI, and VIIa Crus I, with the remaining variance explained by unique/unshared environmental factors. Heritability estimates for brain activation in the cerebellum agree with those found for working memory activation in the cerebral cortex, even though cerebellar cyto-architecture differs substantially. Phenotypic correlations between BOLD percent signal change in cerebrum and cerebellum were low, and bivariate modeling indicated that genetic influences on the cerebellum are at least partly specific to the cerebellum. Activation on the voxel-level correlated very weakly with cerebellar gray matter volume, suggesting specific genetic influences on the BOLD signal. Heritable signals identified here should facilitate discovery of genetic polymorphisms influencing cerebellar function through genome-wide association studies, to elucidate the genetic liability to brain disorders affecting the cerebellum.