Dissociable Cerebellar-Prefrontal Networks Underlying Executive Function: Evidence from the Human Connectome Project Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractTo date, investigations of executive function (EF) have focused on the prefrontal cortex (PFC), and prominent theories of EF are framed with respect to this brain region. Multiple theories describe a hierarchical functional organization for the lateral PFC. However, recent evidence has indicated that the cerebellum (CB) also plays a role in EF. Posterior CB regions (Crus I & II) show structural and functional connections with the PFC, and CB networks are associated with individual differences in EF in healthy adults. However, it is unclear whether the cerebellum shows a similar functional gradient as does the PFC. Here, we investigated high-resolution resting-state data from 225 participants in the Human Connectome Project. We compared resting-state connectivity from posterior cerebellar ROIs, and examined functional data from several tasks that activate the lateral PFC. Demonstrating preliminary evidence for parallel PFC and CB gradients, Crus I was functionally connected with rostrolateral PFC, Crus II with middle and ventral PFC, and Lobule VI with posterior PFC. Contrary to previous work, the activation of the task thought to activate rostrolateral PFC resembled the connectivity maps of Crus II, not Crus I; similarly, the activation of the task thought to activate middle PFC resembled the connectivity maps of Crus I, not Crus II. Nevertheless, there was evidence for dissociable CB-PFC networks. Further work is necessary to understand the functional role of these networks.

altmetric score

  • 6.2

author list (cited authors)

  • Orr, J. M., Jackson, T. B., Imburgio, M. J., & Bernard, J. A.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Orr, Joseph M||Jackson, Trevor B||Imburgio, Michael J||Bernard, Jessica A

publication date

  • October 2018