, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 167-173

In Vivo Structural and Functional Imaging of the Human Rubral and Inferior Olivary Nuclei: A Mini-review

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Few imaging studies have been devoted to the structural and functional connectivity of the red and inferior olivary nuclei although these two nuclei represent two main targets of the cerebellum within the brainstem. However, the RN is anatomically and functionally related to a widespread sensorimotor, limbic, and executive brain network. It projects massively onto the principal olive with which it contributes to a cerebello-rubro-olivo-cerebellar loop modulated by cortical and subcortical afferents. Despite a minor role in planning and execution of rhythmic movements, the red nucleus in conjunction with the inferior olive, more specifically involved in the detection of “unexpected” events, contributes to sensorimotor, sensory and, likely, cognitive higher functions.