Contralateral cortico-ponto-cerebellar pathways reconstruction in humans in vivo: implications for reciprocal cerebro-cerebellar structural connectivity in motor and non-motor areas
AuthorPalesi, F; De Rinaldis, A; Castellazzi, G; Calamante, F; Muhlert, N; Chard, D; Tournier, JD; Magenes, G; D'Angelo, E; Wheeler-Kingshott, CAMG
Source TitleScientific Reports
PublisherNATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
University of Melbourne Author/sCalamante, Fernando
AffiliationMedicine (Austin & Northern Health)
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsPalesi, F., De Rinaldis, A., Castellazzi, G., Calamante, F., Muhlert, N., Chard, D., Tournier, J. D., Magenes, G., D'Angelo, E. & Wheeler-Kingshott, C. A. M. G. (2017). Contralateral cortico-ponto-cerebellar pathways reconstruction in humans in vivo: implications for reciprocal cerebro-cerebellar structural connectivity in motor and non-motor areas. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 7 (1), https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-13079-8.
Access StatusOpen Access
Cerebellar involvement in cognition, as well as in sensorimotor control, is increasingly recognized and is thought to depend on connections with the cerebral cortex. Anatomical investigations in animals and post-mortem humans have established that cerebro-cerebellar connections are contralateral to each other and include the cerebello-thalamo-cortical (CTC) and cortico-ponto-cerebellar (CPC) pathways. CTC and CPC characterization in humans in vivo is still challenging. Here advanced tractography was combined with quantitative indices to compare CPC to CTC pathways in healthy subjects. Differently to previous studies, our findings reveal that cerebellar cognitive areas are reached by the largest proportion of the reconstructed CPC, supporting the hypothesis that a CTC-CPC loop provides a substrate for cerebro-cerebellar communication during cognitive processing. Amongst the cerebral areas identified using in vivo tractography, in addition to the cerebral motor cortex, major portions of CPC streamlines leave the prefrontal and temporal cortices. These findings are useful since provide MRI-based indications of possible subtending connectivity and, if confirmed, they are going to be a milestone for instructing computational models of brain function. These results, together with further multi-modal investigations, are warranted to provide important cues on how the cerebro-cerebellar loops operate and on how pathologies involving cerebro-cerebellar connectivity are generated.
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