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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2013 May;37(4):585-93. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2013.02.006. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Oscillatory activity of the human cerebellum: the intracranial electrocerebellogram revisited.

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Zukunftskolleg & Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Germany.


The functional electrophysiology of the human cerebellum remains poorly characterized. Existing knowledge originates primarily from lesion studies and increasingly from hemodynamic measures such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, along with some evidence in recent years from transcranial magnetic stimulation. In this context, we revisit the few existing records of intracranial recordings from the human cerebellum, and uncover additional little-known reports - three from the Soviet Union, published in Russian between 1949 and 1951, and one from Belgium, published in French in 1964. These studies together demonstrate electrical rhythms of the human cerebellar cortex at frequencies as high as 250 Hz, including task-related modulations. A reanalysis of their electrode traces with state-of-the-art spectral analysis techniques confirm the reported frequency bands, and showed that these modulations were sustained for 100-200 ms. These remarkable observations from the early ages of intracranial mapping of the human brain are in line with recent electrophysiological studies of oscillations in the rodent cerebellum as well as magnetoencephalographic findings in humans. Time-frequency analyses have provided valuable insight into the function of cerebral cortex, and may prove even more critical for the differing neurophysiology of the cerebellum. We contend that these insights will be invaluable to bridge the role of oscillatory networks in the cerebellum with those of cerebral cortex in mediating perception, action, and cognition and to investigate possible cerebellar involvement in neurological dysfunction.

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