Functional Territories of Human Dentate Nucleus

Xavier Guell, Anila M. D'Mello, Nicholas A. Hubbard, Rachel R. Romeo, John D.E. Gabrieli, Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli, Jeremy D. Schmahmann, Sheeba Arnold Anteraper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Anatomical connections link the cerebellar cortex with multiple sensory, motor, association, and paralimbic cerebral areas. The majority of fibers that exit cerebellar cortex synapse in dentate nuclei (DN) before reaching extracerebellar structures such as cerebral cortex, but the functional neuroanatomy of human DN remains largely unmapped. Neuroimaging research has redefined broad categories of functional division in the human brain showing that primary processing, attentional (task positive) processing, and default-mode (task negative) processing are three central poles of neural macroscale functional organization. This broad spectrum of human neural processing categories is represented not only in the cerebral cortex, but also in the thalamus, striatum, and cerebellar cortex. Whether functional organization in DN obeys a similar set of macroscale divisions, and whether DN are yet another compartment of representation of a broad spectrum of human neural processing categories, remains unknown. Here, we show for the first time that human DN are optimally divided into three functional territories as indexed by high spatio-Temporal resolution resting-state MRI in 77 healthy humans, and that these three distinct territories contribute uniquely to default-mode, salience-motor, and visual cerebral cortical networks. Our findings provide a systems neuroscience substrate for cerebellar output to influence multiple broad categories of neural control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2401-2417
Number of pages17
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 14 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • cerebellum
  • default mode network
  • fMRI
  • functional gradients
  • salience network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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