Differential motor and prefrontal cerebello-cortical network development: Evidence from multimodal neuroimaging

Jessica A. Bernard*, Joseph M. Orr, Vijay A. Mittal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


While our understanding of cerebellar structural development through adolescence and young adulthood has expanded, we still lack knowledge of the developmental patterns of cerebellar networks during this critical portion of the lifespan. Volume in lateral posterior cerebellar regions associated with cognition and the prefrontal cortex develops more slowly, reaching their peak volume in adulthood, particularly as compared to motor Lobule V. We predicted that resting state functional connectivity of the lateral posterior regions would show a similar pattern of development during adolescence and young adulthood. That is, we expected to see changes over time in Crus I and Crus II connectivity with the cortex, but no changes in Lobule V connectivity. Additionally, we were interested in how structural connectivity changes in cerebello-thalamo-cortical white matter are related to changes in functional connectivity. A sample of 23 individuals between 12 and 21. years old underwent neuroimaging scans at baseline and 12. months later. Functional networks of Crus I and Crus II showed significant connectivity decreases over 12. months, though there were no differences in Lobule V. Furthermore, these functional connectivity changes were correlated with increases in white matter structural integrity in the corresponding cerebello-thalamo-cortical white matter tract. We suggest that these functional network changes are due to both later pruning in the prefrontal cortex as well as further development of the white matter tracts linking these brain regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-601
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Cerebellum
  • Development
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Functional connectivity MRI
  • Longitudinal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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