MRI Research Amsterdam UMC

The cerebellar stripes: cognitive units?

The human cerebellum (“little brain”) has a large and highly-folded cortical-sheet with an important role across many cognitive domains, including sensorimotor functions. While the neocortical functional units are now emerging in-vivo (orientation-columns/laminar-MRI), human cerebellar research is typically limited on large-scale features (lobules).

Animal research however indicates that, across vertebrates, the computational units of the cerebellar cognitive functions are sagittal stripes, with discrete inputs/outputs and molecular-markers expression. These stripes exist in human but have never been imaged in-vivo to allow exploring their cognitive role, due to their small size and the densely-foliated cerebellar cortex. Our target is to image the human cerebellar stripes as fundamental functional units and explore their cognitive role. To do this we will create a unique MRI platform for human cerebellar imaging, compare these results with 3D-reconstructed histology-stains and examine how the cerebellar stripes modulate neocortical sensorimotor integration, using sensory-motor fMRI and multiscale cerebello-cerebral computational modelling.