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Mapping Visually Activated Cerebellar Regions in Anaesthetised Monkeys with fMRI


Logothetis,  NK
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Sultan, F., & Logothetis, N. (2004). Mapping Visually Activated Cerebellar Regions in Anaesthetised Monkeys with fMRI. Talk presented at 7th Tübingen Perception Conference (TWK 2004). Tübingen, Germany.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-DA27-D
Visual input handed over to the cerebellum by way of the pontine nuclei plays a crucial role in the sensory guidance of movement in primates [1]. Based on the demonstration of visual single unit activity and the results of tract tracing experiments, several cerebellar regions seem to be involved in the processing of visual signals. We therefore looked for visually evoked cerebellar BOLD activation with a vertical 4.7 Tesla MRI scanner in monkeys. This approach provides us with a direct visualisation of the complete multisynaptic cerebro-ponto-cerebellar pathway. Monkeys were scanned while being anaesthetised in order to rule out movement-related BOLD responses, induced by the visual stimuli. In a rst set of experiments we looked for cerebellar BOLD responses evoked by moving large eld random dot kinematograms. Our preliminary results indeed suggest that some of the previously proposed cerebellar regions are activated by such pure visual stimulus. The visual responses were most pronounced in the posterior vermis. However, visual responses were also elicited in another classical “visual” cerebellar area, the dorsal paraocculus. In addition we also saw activation in the cerebellar hemispheres, although much less pronounced. The differences in activation strength in different cerebellar regions may be due to several factors: potentially larger physiological noise in the more caudal cerebellar regions, larger distance of the caudal regions to the RF coil, and/or different density distribution of activated afferent ber terminals in the different cerebellar regions. The function of these sensory signals may subserve to optimize occulomotor performance [2] or sensory performance [3] such as visual motion detection.