Associations of Reading Efficiency with White Matter Properties of the Cerebellar Peduncles in Children

Lisa Bruckert, Katherine E. Travis, Aviv A. Mezer, Michal Ben-Shachar, Heidi M. Feldman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reading in children has been associated with microstructural properties of the cerebellar peduncles, the white matter pathways connecting the cerebellum to the cerebrum. In this study, we used two independent neuroimaging modalities to assess which features of the cerebellar peduncles would be associated with reading. Twenty-three 8-year-old children were evaluated on word reading efficiency and imaged using diffusion MRI (dMRI) and quantitative T1 relaxometry (qT1). We segmented the superior (SCP), middle, and inferior cerebellar peduncles and extracted two metrics: fractional anisotropy (FA) from dMRI and R1 from qT1. Tract-FA was significantly correlated with tract-R1 in left and right SCPs (left: rP(21) =.63, right: rP(21) =.76, p ≤.001) suggesting that FA of these peduncles, at least in part, indexed myelin content. Tract-FA and tract R1 were not correlated in the other cerebellar peduncles. Reading efficiency negatively correlated with tract-FA of the left (rP(21) = −.43, p =.040) and right SCP (rP(21) = −.37, p =.079). Reading efficiency did not correlate with tract-R1 in the SCPs. The negative association of reading efficiency with tract-FA and the lack of association of reading efficiency with tract-R1 implicate properties other than myelin content as relevant to the information flow between the cerebellum and the cerebrum for individual differences in reading skills in children.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)771-777
Number of pages7
JournalCerebellum
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Cerebellum
  • Diffusion MRI
  • Quantitative T1 relaxometry
  • Reading
  • Tractography
  • White matter

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