Distinct cerebellar lobules encode arousal and valence in specific time windows: an MEG study.

C. Styliadis, A.A. Ioannides, P.D. Bamidis, C. Papadelis

Abstract: Introduction: The traditional view that cerebellum serves essentially a pure motor function has been challenged by recent anatomical (for a review see Strick et al., 2009), functional (for a metanalysis see Stoodley & Schmahmann, 2009), and clinical (Schmahmann & Sherman, 1998) studies. These studies indicate that the cerebellum contributes significantly to cognitive and emotional functions as well. The cerebellar role within the emotion-related distributed circuit has been shown for at least two independent emotional dimensions, arousal and valence (Colibazzi et al., 2010). Recent neuroimaging studies have demonstrated the functional specificity of cerebellar lobules for emotions in a similar manner to the specificity that cortical and subcortical regions present (Moulton et al., 2011; Bauman & Mattingley, 2012). These studies have however overlooked the temporal component of this process. This component is critical for the adequate understanding of the nature of emotional processing (Davidson, 1998). In this study, we exploit the excellent temporal resolution and the good localization accuracy of magnetoencephalography (MEG) to examine the spatiotemporal evolution of emotional dimensions within the cerebellar lobules. We hypothesized that different emotional dimensions activate distinct cerebellar lobules within specific time windows in a sequence determined by the encoding of these dimensions.

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