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Ryan D Marshall, James A Brissenden, Kathryn J Devaney, Abigail L Noyce, Maya L Rosen, David C Somers; Functional Differentiation of Visual Attention Processing Within Human Cerebellum. Journal of Vision 2019;19(10):320b. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.320b.
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Portions of human cerebellum are recruited during visual attention and visual working memory tasks (Allen et al., 1997; Stoodley et al., 2012; Brissenden et al., 2016). Moreover, the existence of two cortico-cerebellar subnetworks that support different aspects of visuospatial cognition has recently been reported (Brissenden et al., 2018). Here, we examine cerebellar recruitment across multiple visual attentional tasks. fMRI data were collected at 3 Tesla while subjects participated in visual attention and/or working memory tasks. Task contrasts examined visual working memory load in a change detection task, oddball processing, 2-back working memory, multiple object tracking, and long-term memory guided attention. Collectively, the tasks activated: a lateral region spanning the Lobule VI/Crus I border, A medial region spanning Lobule VI, Crus I/II and Lobule VIIb, a mid-lateral region spanning lobules VIIb/VIIIa, and a mid-lateral region spanning lobules VIIIb/IX. These regions exhibit strong resting state functional connectivity with portions of the cortical Dorsal Attention Network and Cognitive Control Network. Additionally, each of the 5 tasks exhibited distinct patterns of cerebellar activation. Notable differences include a medial portion of lobule VIIIa with strong connectivity to the cortical dorsal attention network that was robustly recruited during high-load visual working memory but not during during 2-back VWM. Long-term memory guided attention selectively recruited the lateral Lobule VI/Crus I region, while oddball stimuli selectively drove medial Lobule VI and Crus I/II. These studies serve to distinguish specialized recruitment of cerebellar regions in support of different aspects of visual cognition.
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