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Neuroimage. 2018 Aug 1;176:510-517. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.04.067. Epub 2018 May 3.

Trade-off of cerebello-cortical and cortico-cortical functional networks for planning in 6-year-old children.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117575, Singapore.
2
Max Planck Research Group: Neuroanatomy & Connectivity, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Stephanstrasse 1a, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany.
3
Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, 40225, Germany; Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-7), Research Center Jülich, Jülich, 52425, Germany.
4
Department of Biomedical Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117575, Singapore; Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, 117609 Singapore; Clinical Imaging Research Center, National University of Singapore, 117599, Singapore. Electronic address: bieqa@nus.edu.sg.

Abstract

Childhood is a critical period for the development of cognitive planning. There is a lack of knowledge on its neural mechanisms in children. This study aimed to examine cerebello-cortical and cortico-cortical functional connectivity in association with planning skills in 6-year-olds (n = 76). We identified the cerebello-cortical and cortico-cortical functional networks related to cognitive planning using activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis on existing functional imaging studies on spatial planning, and data-driven independent component analysis (ICA) of children's resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI). We investigated associations of cerebello-cortical and cortico-cortical functional connectivity with planning ability in 6-year-olds, as assessed using the Stockings of Cambridge task. Long-range functional connectivity of two cerebellar networks (lobules VI and lateral VIIa) with the prefrontal and premotor cortex were greater in children with poorer planning ability. In contrast, cortico-cortical association networks were not associated with the performance of planning in children. These results highlighted the key contribution of the lateral cerebello-frontal functional connectivity, but not cortico-cortical association functional connectivity, for planning ability in 6-year-olds. Our results suggested that brain adaptation to the acquisition of planning ability during childhood is partially achieved through the engagement of the cerebello-cortical functional connectivity.

KEYWORDS:

Activation likelihood estimation; Cerebellum; Cerebrum; Resting-state fMRI; Stockings of Cambridge; Tower of London

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