A new perspective for understanding the contributions of the cerebellum to reading: The cerebro-cerebellar mapping hypothesis

Neuropsychologia. 2022 Jun 6;170:108231. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2022.108231. Epub 2022 Apr 1.


Extensive studies have reported significant activation of the cerebellum in reading and reading-related tasks. However, it has remained unclear how the cerebellum contributes to reading and how reading-related regions in the cerebrum are related to those in the cerebellum. In this review, by summarizing previous literature, we observe that multiple cerebellar areas are engaged in reading and vary in their contributions to reading. Moreover, the cerebellar reading-related areas are selectively connected with the cerebral areas with the same functional specificity. Abnormalities in the cerebro-cerebellar connection are also associated with reading impairments. We thus propose the cerebro-cerebellar mapping hypothesis, which suggests that the cerebellum might have another reading-related network rather than serving as a neural hub. This network maps to and collaborates with its functionally corresponding network in the cerebrum. This framework heightens the importance of the cerebellum to reading and provides new insights into the relationship between the cerebellum, cerebrum, and reading development.

Keywords: Cerebro-cerebellar mapping hypothesis; Dyslexia; Functional connectivity; Hypoactivation; Reading.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebellum / physiology
  • Dyslexia*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Reading*