Poster B31, Sunday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Dissociable Patterns of PFC-Cerebellum Connectivity WIth Implications for Hierarchical Models of Executive Function
Joseph Orr1, Bryan Jackson1, Jessica Bernard1; 1Texas A&M University
To date, investigations of executive function (EF) have focused on the prefrontal cortex (PFC), and prominent theories of EF are framed with respect to this brain region. Multiple theories describe a hierarchical functional organization for the lateral PFC, with anterior portions controlling more abstract, higher-order behaviors (e.g., goal updating) and more posterior portions controlling more concrete, lower-order behaviors (e.g., response updating). However, recent evidence has indicated that the cerebellum (CB) also plays a role in EF. Posterior CB regions (Crus I & II) show structural and functional connections with the PFC, and further, resting networks including these CB regions are associated with individual differences in EF in healthy adults. However, it is unclear whether the cerebellum shows a similar functional gradient as does the PFC. To shed light on this issue we investigated high-resolution resting-state data from 64 participants in the Human Connectome Project. We compared functional connectivity from Crus I and Crus II to the rest of the brain using the CONN toolbox. Group-level statistics were carried out with nonparametric permutation tests (10,000 permutations) with a cluster-formation threshold of p<.00001 and cluster-mass corrected to p<.001 FWE. Results shows that Crus I showed stronger connectivity than Crus II with the anterior PFC, dorsal MFC, and frontal operculum. Crus II showed stronger connectivity than Crus I with the posterior ventrolateral PFC. These results suggest that the posterior cerebellum shares a similar organization as the lateral PFC. Ongoing follow-ups are being conducted with 225 participants focusing on executive function behavioral correlations.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Goal maintenance & switching