About this Research Topic
There is increasing evidence that the cerebellum contributes to several cognitive features and emotional control, in addition to its well-defined role in motor coordination. The relevance of the cerebellum in cognition and emotion has been suggested by the anecdotal observations of patients with cerebellar lesions, displaying cognitive and psychiatric symptoms which characterize Cerebellar Cognitive Affective Syndrome (CCAS). Although the neuroanatomical basis remains elusive, advances in neuroimaging have provided the possibility to evaluate anatomical connectivity using MRI diffusion techniques and tractography, thus providing the anatomical background of cognitive cerebellar functions.
Cognitive deficit of patients with CCAS may occur without any cerebellar motor syndrome and consists of alterations in executive function (planning, verbal fluency, abstract reasoning, working memory), spatial cognition (visual spatial organization and memory), and linguistic processing (agrammatism and dysprosodia), when the lesions are located in the hemispheric regions of the cerebellar posterior lobes. Affect dysregulation may occur when the lesions involve the vermis.
Many questions surrounding cerebellar cognitive function remain unsolved, in particular the identification of the anatomical circuits serving the different cognitive functions. In addition, the role of the cerebellum in language, emotion and motor learning requires further elucidation; as well as the aspect of cerebellar functional anatomy relating to the role of dopamine and the sub-cortical interplay between the cerebellum and basal ganglia.
For this Research Topic, we welcome Original Research and Reviews, and encourage Perspectives and Hypothesis and Theory exploring unsolved issues on the cognitive functions of the cerebellum, such as:
1) The role of the cerebellum in relation to emotion
2) Intra and extracerebellar connectivity evaluated with MRI diffusion and tractography
3) Cerebellar dopaminergic innervation: basal ganglia-cerebellum connections
4) Language and the cerebellum
5) Non-invasive neuromodulation with Transcranial magnetic stimulation and cerebellar functions.
Keywords: Cerebellum, cognition, emotions, TMS, motor learning, cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome, language
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