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Neuron. 2014 Aug 6;83(3):518-32. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.07.016.

The cerebellum, sensitive periods, and autism.

Author information

1
Princeton Neuroscience Institute and Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA. Electronic address: sswang@princeton.edu.
2
Princeton Neuroscience Institute and Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.

Abstract

Cerebellar research has focused principally on adult motor function. However, the cerebellum also maintains abundant connections with nonmotor brain regions throughout postnatal life. Here we review evidence that the cerebellum may guide the maturation of remote nonmotor neural circuitry and influence cognitive development, with a focus on its relationship with autism. Specific cerebellar zones influence neocortical substrates for social interaction, and we propose that sensitive-period disruption of such internal brain communication can account for autism's key features.

PMID:
25102558
PMCID:
PMC4135479
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2014.07.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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