The cerebral cortex communicates with the cerebellum via polysynaptic circuits. Separate regions of the cerebellum are connected to distinct cerebral areas, forming a complex topography. In this study we explored the organization of cerebrocerebellar circuits in the human using restingstate functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI). Data from 1,000 subjects were registered using nonlinear deformation of the cerebellum in combination with surface-based alignment of the cerebral cortex. The foot, hand, and tongue representations were localized in subjects performing movements. fcMRI maps derived from seed regions placed in different parts of the motor body representation yielded the expected inverted map of somatomotor topography in the anterior lobe and the upright map in the posterior lobe. Next, we mapped the complete topography of the cerebellum by estimating the principal cerebral target for each point in the cerebellum in a discovery sample of 500 subjects and replicated the topography in 500 independent subjects. The majority of the human cerebellum maps to association areas. Quantitative analysis of 17 distinct cerebral networks revealed that the extent of the cerebellum dedicated to each network is proportional to the network's extent in the cerebrum with a few exceptions, including primary visual cortex, which is not represented in the cerebellum. Like somatomotor representations, cerebellar regions linked to association cortex have separate anterior and posterior representations that are oriented as mirror images of one another. The orderly topography of the representations suggests that the cerebellum possesses at least two large, homotopic maps of the full cerebrum and possibly a smaller third map.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Default network
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging
- Motor control