The human cerebellum has been implicated in the control of a wide variety of motor control parameters, such as force amplitude, movement extent, and movement velocity. These parameters often covary in both movement and isometric force production tasks, so it is difficult to resolve whether specific regions of the cerebellum relate to specific parameters. In order to address this issue, the current study used two experiments and SUIT normalization to determine whether BOLD activation in the cerebellum scales with the amplitude or rate of change of isometric force production or both. In the first experiment, subjects produced isometric pinch-grip force over a range of force amplitudes without any constraints on the rate of force development. In the second experiment, subjects varied the rate of force production, but the target force amplitude remained constant. The data demonstrate that BOLD activation in separate sub-areas of cerebellar regions lobule VI and Crus I/II scales with both force amplitude and force rate. In addition, BOLD activation in cerebellar lobule V and vermis VI was specific to force amplitude, whereas BOLD activation in lobule VIIb was specific to force rate. Overall, cerebellar activity related to force amplitude was located superior and medial, whereas activity related to force rate was inferior and lateral. These findings suggest that specific circuitry in the cerebellum may be dedicated to specific motor control parameters such as force amplitude and force rate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience