Article

The Cerebellum

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 311-313

Functional Imaging and the Cerebellum: Recent Developments and Challenges. Editorial

  • Christophe HabasAffiliated withService de NeuroImagerie, CHNO des XV-XX Email author 

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Abstract

Recent neuroimaging developments allow a better in vivo characterization of the structural and functional connectivity of the human cerebellum. Ultrahigh fields, which considerably increase spatial resolution, enable to visualize deep cerebellar nuclei and cerebello-cortical sublayers. Tractography reconstructs afferent and efferent pathway of the cerebellum. Resting-state functional connectivity individualizes the prewired, parallel close-looped sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective networks passing through the cerebellum. These results are un agreement with activation maps obtained during stimulation functional neuroimaging or inferred from neurological deficits due to cerebellar lesions. Therefore, neuroimaging supports the hypothesis that cerebellum constitutes a general modulator involved in optimizing mental performance and computing internal models. However, the great challenges will remain to unravel: (1) the functional role of red and bulbar olivary nuclei, (2) the information processing in the cerebellar microcircuitry, and (3) the abstract computation performed by the cerebellum and shared by sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective domains.

Keywords

Cerebellum Functional imaging Tractography Brain resting-state Cognition Internal models Ultrahigh fields