Universal Transform or Multiple Functionality? Understanding the Contribution of the Human Cerebellum across Task Domains
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© 2019 Elsevier Inc. An impressive body of research over the past 30 years has implicated the human cerebellum in a broad range of functions, including motor control, perception, language, working memory, cognitive control, and social cognition. The relatively uniform anatomy and physiology of the cerebellar cortex has given rise to the idea that this structure performs the same computational function across diverse domains. Here we highlight evidence from the human neuroimaging literature that documents the striking functional heterogeneity of the cerebellum, both in terms of task-evoked activity patterns and, as measured under task-free conditions, functional connectivity with the neocortex. Building on these observations, we discuss the theoretical challenges these results present to the idea of a universal cerebellar computation and consider the alternative concept of multiple functionality, the idea that the same underlying circuit implements functionally distinct computations.