Visual Cortical Functional Connectivity With Cerebellar Cortex Reveals Multiple, Fine-Scale Cortico-Cerebellar Networks for Vision

Poster Presentation 43.440: Monday, May 22, 2023, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, Pavilion
Session: Visual Working Memory: Neural mechanisms

Ryan Marshall1 (), Vaibhav Tripathi2, David Somers3; 1Boston University

Many studies demonstrate cerebellar participation in non-motor functions, including attention and working memory [Stoodley & Schahmann, 2011; Brissenden et al, 2016; King et al., 2017]. Although prominent studies of cortico-cerebellar functional connectivity report no connectivity between visual cortex and cerebellum [Buckner et al, 2015], or connectivity with only oculomotor vermis [Diedrichsen & Zotow, 2015], more recent studies have reported that portions of cerebellum encode representations of the visual field [Brissenden et al., 2018; van Es et al., 2019] and encode stimulus-specific representations of visual working memory [Brissenden et al., 2021]. Here, using 7T resting-state and movie fMRI data from the Human Connectome Project (HCP-YA) dataset, we show that distinct visuotopic subregions [Wang et al., 2015] exhibit significant and widespread connectivity with cerebellum, including ventral lobule VI, medial crus I/II, and large portions of lobules VIIb, VIIIa and VIIIb. Further subnetworks can be differentiated by contrasting connectivity patterns from early (V1, V2, V3) vs late visual cortex and by contrasting dorsal (V3A, IPS0, IPS1, IPS2) vs ventral (hV4, V01, and V02) visual streams. Oculomotor vermis connects more strongly with dorsal than ventral EVC, consistent with dorsal pathway control of eye movements. LVC cortical regions also exhibit distinct patterns of dorsal vs. ventral connectivity, with dorsal winning portions of Crus I and lobules VI, VIIb, VIIIa, and ventral winning lateral portions of lobules VIIb, (left) VIIIa and (right) lateral VIIIb. Contrasting LVC vs EVC within the dorsal stream reveals known retinotopic subnetworks, with EVC connecting preferentially to OMV and LVC connecting to the remaining visuotopic nodes. In contrast, ventral LVC regions exhibited stronger connectivity than EVC with portions of oculomotor vermis, (left) lobule VIIIa and lateral VIIIb. Collectively, these patterns of connectivity reveal a complex set of multiple cortico-cerebellar networks, suggesting that subregions of cerebellum may exhibit distinct roles in visual processing.

Acknowledgements: NSF BCS-1829394