Does the cerebellum sleep? If so, does sleep contribute to cerebellar cognition? In this thesis, the sleep contribution to the consolidation process of spatial-temporal and multisensory integration was investigated in relation to the human cerebellum. Multiple experimental approaches were used to answer research questions addressed in the various chapters. Summarizing the evidence of the electrophysiology and neuroimaging studies, in Chapter1 we present intriguing evidence that the cerebellum is involved in sleep physiology, and that cerebellar-dependent memory formation can be consolidated during sleep. In Chapter 2, using functional neuroimaging in healthy participants during various forms of the Serial interception sequential learning (SISL) task, i.e., predictive timing, motor coordination, and motor imagination, we assessed the cerebellar involvement in spatio-temporal predictive timing; and possible cerebellar interactions with other regions, most notably the hippocampus. In Chapter 3, we add to the findings of Chapter 2 that indicate the cerebellum and hippocampus are involved in the task, by showing that more than simply activated, the cerebellum is a necessary and responsible region for the establishment of the spatio-temporal prediction. This follows from the deficits in behavioral properties of the predictive and reactive timing in the cerebellar ataxia type 6 patients, using the modified version of the SISL task. In Chapter 4, we assessed the subsequent post-interval behavioral performances on the learning of the fixed and random timing sequences in the SISL task, comparing a sleep group and wake group in healthy participants. Our findings show that sleep consolidates the process of cerebellar-dependent spatio-temporal integration. In Chapter 5, we investigated the establishment of visual-tactile integration during sleep through the examination of tactile motion stimulation during sleep and showed that, subsequent to sleep, directional visual motion discrimination is biased depending on the direction of the stimulation during sleep. This effectively shows that sleep offers a window for crossmodal integration. In Chapter 6, we discussed the main findings on the consolidation of the cerebellum-dependent spatio-temporal timing and the new formation of the multisensory integration during sleep, in addition to the description of the methodological considerations and future perspectives.

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C.I. de Zeeuw (Chris) , E.J.W. van Someren (Eus) , Y.D. van der Werf (Ysbrand)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Department of Neuroscience

Onuki, Y. (2018, April 25). Spatio-Temporal and Multisensory Integration: the relationship between sleep and the cerebellum. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from