The role of the cerebellum in sub- and supraliminal error correction during sensorimotor synchronization: evidence from fMRI and TMS.
Bijsterbosch JD., Lee KH., Hunter MD., Tsoi DT., Lankappa S., Wilkinson ID., Barker AT., Woodruff PW.
Our ability to interact physically with objects in the external world critically depends on temporal coupling between perception and movement (sensorimotor timing) and swift behavioral adjustment to changes in the environment (error correction). In this study, we investigated the neural correlates of the correction of subliminal and supraliminal phase shifts during a sensorimotor synchronization task. In particular, we focused on the role of the cerebellum because this structure has been shown to play a role in both motor timing and error correction. Experiment 1 used fMRI to show that the right cerebellar dentate nucleus and primary motor and sensory cortices were activated during regular timing and during the correction of subliminal errors. The correction of supraliminal phase shifts led to additional activations in the left cerebellum and right inferior parietal and frontal areas. Furthermore, a psychophysiological interaction analysis revealed that supraliminal error correction was associated with enhanced connectivity of the left cerebellum with frontal, auditory, and sensory cortices and with the right cerebellum. Experiment 2 showed that suppression of the left but not the right cerebellum with theta burst TMS significantly affected supraliminal error correction. These findings provide evidence that the left lateral cerebellum is essential for supraliminal error correction during sensorimotor synchronization.