Abnormalities of cerebellar function have been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Since the cerebellum has afferent and efferent projections to diverse brain regions, abnormalities in cerebellar lobules could affect functional connectivity with multiple functional systems in the brain. Prior studies, however, have not examined the relationship of individual cerebellar lobules with motor and nonmotor resting-state functional networks. We evaluated these relationships using resting-state fMRI in 30 patients with a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder and 37 healthy comparison participants. For connectivity analyses, the cerebellum was parcellated into 18 lobular and vermal regions, and functional connectivity of each lobule to 10 major functional networks in the cerebrum was evaluated. The relationship between functional connectivity measures and behavioral performance on sensorimotor tasks (i.e., finger-tapping and postural sway) was also examined. We found cerebellar–cortical hyperconnectivity in schizophrenia, which was predominantly associated with Crus I, Crus II, lobule IX, and lobule X. Specifically, abnormal cerebellar connectivity was found to the cerebral ventral attention, motor, and auditory networks. This cerebellar–cortical connectivity in the resting-state was differentially associated with sensorimotor task-based behavioral measures in schizophrenia and healthy comparison participants—that is, dissociation with motor network and association with nonmotor network in schizophrenia. These findings suggest that functional association between individual cerebellar lobules and the ventral attentional, motor, and auditory networks is particularly affected in schizophrenia. They are also consistent with dysconnectivity models of schizophrenia suggesting cerebellar contributions to a broad range of sensorimotor and cognitive operations.
- finger tapping
- functional connectivity
- postural sway
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology