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The cerebellar clock: Predicting and timing somatosensory touch

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The cerebellum is involved in predicting the sensory feedback resulting from movements and sensations, but little is known about the precise timing of these predictions due to the scarcity of time-sensitive cerebellar neuroimaging studies. We here, using magnetoencephalography, investigated the hypothesis that one function of the cerebellum is to predict with millisecond precision when rhythmic stimuli are expected to impinge on sensory receptors. This revealed that omissions following regular trains of stimulation showed higher cerebellar power in the beta band (14-30 Hz) than those following irregular trains of stimulation, within milliseconds of when the omitted stimulus should have appeared. We also found evidence of cerebellar theta band (4-7 Hz) activity encoding the rhythm of new sequences of stimulation. Our results also strongly suggest that the putamen and the thalamus mirror the cerebellum in showing higher beta band power when omissions followed regular trains of stimulation compared to when they followed irregular trains of stimulation. We interpret this as the cerebellum functioning as a clock that precisely encodes and predicts upcoming stimulation, perhaps in tandem with the putamen and thalamus. Relative to less predictable stimuli, perfectly predictable stimuli induce greater cerebellar power. This implies that the cerebellum entrains to rhythmic stimuli for the purpose of detecting any deviations from that rhythm.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer118202
TidsskriftNeuroImage
Vol/bind238
ISSN1053-8119
DOI
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
We thank Daniel Lundqvist for providing the lab equipment at the National Facility for Magnetoencephalography (NatMEG) at Karolinska Institutet for the very first pilots. We thank Johannes Singer, who was invaluable in designing and analysing pilot data, leading to the final design. Furthermore, we thank Sigbjørn Hokland and Marie Louise Holm Møller for their help with data collection. Lau Møller Andersen was funded by the Carlsberg Foundation (CF18-0843), the Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF-E-2019-9-20) and the Lundbeck Foundation (R322-2019-1841). Sarang Dalal was funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant (640448).

Funding Information:
We thank Daniel Lundqvist for providing the lab equipment at the National Facility for Magnetoencephalography (NatMEG) at Karolinska Institutet for the very first pilots. We thank Johannes Singer, who was invaluable in designing and analysing pilot data, leading to the final design. Furthermore, we thank Sigbj?rn Hokland and Marie Louise Holm M?ller for their help with data collection. Lau M?ller Andersen was funded by the Carlsberg Foundation (CF18-0843), the Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF-E-2019-9-20) and the Lundbeck Foundation (R322-2019-1841). Sarang Dalal was funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant (640448).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)

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