From Synchrony to Asynchrony: Cerebellar-Basal Ganglia Functional Circuits in Young and Older Adults. Academic Article uri icon


  • Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) has indicated disruptions in functional connectivity in older adults (OA) relative to young adults (YA). While age differences in cortical networks are well studied, differences in subcortical networks are poorly understood. Both the cerebellum and the basal ganglia are of particular interest given their role in cognitive and motor functions, and work in nonhuman primates has demonstrated direct reciprocal connections between these regions. Here, our goal was twofold. First, we were interested in delineating connectivity patterns between distinct regions of the cerebellum and basal ganglia, known to have topologically distinct connectivity patterns with cortex. Our second goal was to quantify age differences in these cerebellar-striatal circuits. We performed a targeted rs-fMRI analysis of the cerebellum and basal ganglia in 33 YA and 31 OA individuals. In the YA, we found significant connectivity both within and between the cerebellum and basal ganglia, in patterns supporting semi-discrete circuits that may differentially subserve motor and cognitive performance. We found a shift in connectivity, from one of synchrony in YA, to asynchrony in OA, resulting in substantial age differences. Connectivity was also associated with behavior. These findings significantly advance our understanding of cerebellar-basal ganglia interactions in the human brain.

published proceedings

  • Cereb Cortex

altmetric score

  • 5.3

author list (cited authors)

  • Hausman, H. K., Jackson, T. B., Goen, J., & Bernard, J. A.

citation count

  • 20

complete list of authors

  • Hausman, Hanna K||Jackson, T Bryan||Goen, James RM||Bernard, Jessica A

publication date

  • March 2020