The cerebellum's involvement in the judgment of spatial orientation: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study

Neuropsychologia. 2005;43(13):1870-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2005.03.025.


A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was conducted to integrate the clinical observations of the impaired judgment of spatial orientation of cerebellar patients with recent theoretical discoveries about the role of the cerebellum in cognitive functions. Ten normal healthy male right-handed Chinese postgraduates consented to participate in this study. The experimental task employed was a modified version of Benton's Judgment of Line Orientation Test, administered in a blocked fMRI study. The findings indicated activation of the cerebellar regions, the Hemisphere Lobules IV, VI and Crus I, while the subjects were performing the experimental task of the judgment of the orientation of lines. Furthermore, cortical regions were activated, including the bilateral precuneus (BA 7), the extrastriate regions (BA 19), and the bilateral prefrontal regions (BA 9, 10, 44, 46). The imaging data confirmed that the activity of the cerebellum is associated with judging spatial orientation. The theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Judgment / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Spatial Behavior / physiology