Population-wide cerebellar growth models of children and adolescents

Carolin Gaiser, Rick van der Vliet, Augustijn A.A. de Boer, Opher Donchin, Pierre Berthet, Gabriel A. Devenyi, M. Mallar Chakravarty, Jörn Diedrichsen, Andre F. Marquand, Maarten A. Frens*, Ryan L. Muetzel

*Corresponding author for this work

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In the past, the cerebellum has been best known for its crucial role in motor function. However, increasingly more findings highlight the importance of cerebellar contributions in cognitive functions and neurodevelopment. Using a total of 7240 neuroimaging scans from 4862 individuals, we describe and provide detailed, openly available models of cerebellar development in childhood and adolescence (age range: 6–17 years), an important time period for brain development and onset of neuropsychiatric disorders. Next to a traditionally used anatomical parcellation of the cerebellum, we generated growth models based on a recently proposed functional parcellation. In both, we find an anterior-posterior growth gradient mirroring the age-related improvements of underlying behavior and function, which is analogous to cerebral maturation patterns and offers evidence for directly related cerebello-cortical developmental trajectories. Finally, we illustrate how the current approach can be used to detect cerebellar abnormalities in clinical samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2351
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2024

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