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Involvement of multiple functionally distinct cerebellar regions in visual discrimination: a human functional imaging study.

KG Claeys, GA Orban, P Dupont, S Sunaert, P Van Hecke, E De Schutter

Laboratory of Theoretical Neurobiology, Born-Bunge Foundation, University of Antwerp-U.A., Universiteitsplein 1, B2610, Antwerpen, Belgium.

NeuroImage 20:840-54 (2003)

Abstract - We investigated the contribution of the human cerebellum to cerebral function during visual discrimination using PET and fMRI. The cognitive task was a successive discrimination of shades of brown with a parametric variation of the stimulus presentation rate and a constant task difficulty. The successive color discrimination task was contrasted to a dimming detection control task, with identical retinal input but with double the number of motor responses. Three sets of activated cerebellar and cerebral regions were observed: rate-dependent and rate-independent color discrimination networks and a motor-and-detection network. The rate-dependent color discrimination network included both an anterior and a posterior activation site in lobule-VI of the two lateral cerebellar hemispheres, whereas the rate-independent network involved a bilateral activation site in lateral Crus-I. Cerebellar sites of the motor-and-detection network were located in medial lobule-V bilaterally, in the vermis, and in posterior left Crus-I and right Crus-II. An additional fMRI study was performed to control for differences in motor output and response timing between the tasks. In this control study, the cerebellar activation sites of the rate-dependent and rate-independent color discrimination networks remained unaltered. The motor-and-detection network included cerebellar activations in posterior left Crus-I and right Crus-II, but none in lobule-V or the vermis. Thus, cerebellar activation sites of the motor-and-detection network could be subdivided into those related to a motor network and those belonging to a dimming detection network. We conclude that successive color discrimination activates multiple, functionally distinct cerebellar regions.

PMID: 14568456 [PubMed]