The emergence of cognitive neuroscience in the late 1980s and continued advances over the past ten years have yielded broad and highly significant insights into the neural basis of human cognition. But knowledge advances for one brain structure – the cerebellum – have not kept pace. This research will use an integrative approach that combines measures of functional activation, functional connectivity, and structural connectivity to address this knowledge gap. It will test the principle that the specific cerebro-cerebellar circuits that are engaged by a language task varies according to the type of information that must be processed to support task performance.
If successful, the work should have broad theoretical impact and serve to advance basic knowledge in the field of cognitive neuroscience. The functions of the cerebellum remain a mystery despite 30 years of debate, and the emergence of human connectivity data would represent a major step forward.