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Activation of the cerebellar cortex and the dentate nucleus in a prism adaptation fMRI study



During prism adaptation two types of learning processes can be distinguished. First, fast strategic motor control responses are predominant in the early course of prism adaptation to achieve rapid error correction within few trials. Second, slower spatial realignment occurs among the misaligned visual and proprioceptive sensorimotor coordinate system. The aim of the present ultra-highfield (7T) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was to explore cerebellar cortical and dentate nucleus activation during the course of prism adaptation in relation to a similar visuomotor task without prism exposure. Nineteen young healthy participants were included into the study. Recently developed normalization procedures were applied for the cerebellar cortex and the dentate nucleus. By means of subtraction analysis (early prism adaptation > visuomotor, early prism adaptation > late prism adaptation) we identified ipsilateral activation associated with strategic motor control responses within the posterior cerebellar cortex (lobules VIII and IX) and the ventro-caudal dentate nucleus. During the late phase of adaptation we observed pronounced activation of posterior parts of lobule VI, although subtraction analyses (late prism adaptation > visuomotor) remained negative. These results are in good accordance with the concept of a representation of non-motor functions, here strategic control, within the ventro-caudal dentate nucleus. Hum Brain Mapp 35:1574–1586, 2014. © 2013 Wiley-Liss, Inc.