Over the past three decades, insights into the role of the cerebellum in emotional processing have substantially increased. Indeed, methodological refinements in cerebellar lesion studies and major technological advancements in the field of neuroscience are in particular responsible to an exponential growth of knowledge on the topic. It is timely to review the available data and to critically evaluate the current status of the role of the cerebellum in emotion and related domains. The main aim of this article is to present an overview of current facts and ongoing debates relating to clinical, neuroimaging, and neurophysiological findings on the role of the cerebellum in key aspects of emotion. Experts in the field of cerebellar research discuss the range of cerebellar contributions to emotion in nine topics. Topics include the role of the cerebellum in perception and recognition, forwarding and encoding of emotional information, and the experience and regulation of emotional states in relation to motor, cognitive, and social behaviors. In addition, perspectives including cerebellar involvement in emotional learning, pain, emotional aspects of speech, and neuropsychiatric aspects of the cerebellum in mood disorders are briefly discussed. Results of this consensus paper illustrate how theory and empirical research have converged to produce a composite picture of brain topography, physiology, and function that establishes the role of the cerebellum in many aspects of emotional processing.
Keywords: Cerebellum; Emotion; Learning; Mood; Neurophysiology; Neurotopography; Pain; Perception; Processing; Recognition; Speech.