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Connectivity between the cerebrum and cerebellum during social and non-social sequencing using dynamic causal modelling.

Authors
  • Van Overwalle, Frank1
  • Van de Steen, Frederik2
  • van Dun, Kim3
  • Heleven, Elien4
  • 1 Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050, Brussels, Belgium. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Belgium)
  • 2 Department of Data Analysis, University of Ghent, Dunantlaan 2, 9000, Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Belgium)
  • 3 Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Hasselt University, Martelarenlaan 42, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Belgium)
  • 4 Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050, Brussels, Belgium. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Belgium)
Type
Published Article
Journal
NeuroImage
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2020
Volume
206
Pages
116326–116326
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116326
PMID: 31678499
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

This analysis explores the effective connectivity of the cerebellum with the cerebral cortex during the generation of correct sequences of social and non-social events, using dynamic causal modelling (DCM). Our hypothesis is that during human evolution, the cerebellum's function evolved from a mere coordinator of fluent sequences of motions and actions, to an interpreter of action sequences without overt movements that are important for social understanding. This requires efficient neural communication between the cerebellum and cerebral cortex. In a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, participants generated the correct chronological order of (non-)social events, including stories involving mechanical and social scripts, and true or false beliefs. Across all stories, a DCM analysis of these data revealed, as predicted, bidirectional (closed-loop) connections linking the bilateral posterior cerebellum with the bilateral temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) associated with behavior understanding, and this connectivity pattern was almost entirely significant. There was also a unidirectional connection from the right posterior cerebellum to the precuneus, but no direct connections with the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC). Moreover, all connections emanating from the bilateral posterior cerebellum were negative, indicative of some kind of error signal. Within the cerebral cortex, there were unidirectional connections from the bilateral TPJ to the dmPFC, as well as bidirectional connections between the precuneus and dmPFC, and between the bilateral TPJ. These results confirm that the effective connectivity between the posterior cerebellum and mentalizing areas in the cerebral cortex play a critical role in the understanding and construction of the correct order of social and non-social action sequences. Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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