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evealing Excitable Subcortical Networks by Microstimulation-fMRI of the Deep Cerebellar Nuclei

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Augath,  M
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Murayama,  Y
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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

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Citation

Sultan, F., Augath, M., Murayama, Y., Hamodeh, S., Thier, P., & Logothetis, N. (2009). evealing Excitable Subcortical Networks by Microstimulation-fMRI of the Deep Cerebellar Nuclei. Poster presented at 8th Göttingen Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society, 32nd Göttingen Neurobiology Conference, Göttingen, Germany.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-17DE-A
Abstract
Electrical stimulation, combined with functional magnetic resonance imaging (es-fMRI), is proving to be an important tool to study the functional properties of spatially distributed neuronal networks of the brain. Here, we want to understand how information is propagated between the two major cortices of the primate brain, the neocortex and the cerebellar cortex. We therefore electrically stimulated the deep cerebellar nuclei of rhesus monkeys. So far we have electrically stimulated 19 different sites in different parts of the deep cerebellar nuclei. Electrical stimulation of the DCN leads to reliable transsynaptic responses in the neocortex. Surprisingly, the BOLD responses can be observed in multiple neocortical sites extending beyond classical cerebellar targets (such as primary motor cortex) and also extending to the hemisphere ipsilateral to the stimulation site. An analysis of the BOLD amplitude in cortical and subcortical structures indicated that the bilateral spread of activity is already present at subcortical levels, i.e. the thalamus. Currently we cannot exclude the possibility that we stimulated fibres of passage that then activated the contralateral DCN and hence contributed to the bilateral neocortical activation patterns. However, the observation of wide-spread BOLD responses in thalamic regions outside the known thalamic termination sites of the DCN indicates that the DCN are able to drive brainstem circuits effectively that then reach neocortex through several thalamic nuclei. These results indicate that, apart from the direct DCN -thalamic projection, indirect routes exist by which the cerebellum can mediate information to the neocortex that may be equally important and effective despite requiring the additional passage through synapses in met- and mesencephalic structures.