Functional segregation within pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus: evidence from fMRI studies of imitation and action observation.
The function of the lateral part of the human cerebellum was investigated through cerebro-cerebellar functional connectivity. We propose a laterality index method to reveal a functional and possibly anatomical pathway between the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum. The brain activity involved in learning a visually-guided tracking skill using a novel computer mouse was measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging. The imaging data analyzed using the method suggest that the simple lobule and semilunar lobule of the lateral cerebellum have connections with the pars opercularis and pars triangularis in the inferior frontal gyrus. A possible function of this cerebro-cerebellar communication loop is tool usage, which is in-between the cognitive and motor functions of the human cerebellum.