Neuropsychology and cerebellum

# Investigating the cognitive and affective functions of the cerebellum

About the CEREBEMO project

The functions of the cerebellum are traditionally assumed to be limited to the regulation of motor coordination, balance, and motor speech. In recent decades, however, the results of neuroanatomical, neuroimaging and clinical studies have started to challenge this view, suggesting that the cerebellum is also involved in cognition and emotion. The CEREBEMO project aims at better understanding the cerebellum’s functional specialization and integration in human affective processes but also to investigate, more generally, the basal ganglia-cerebellar network during sensorimotor, cognitive and emotional processes underpinning the habit formation. For this project, we collaborate with the Neurology Unit of the Geneva University Hospitals.


Frédéric Assal
Cognitive Neurology Unit, Department of Neurology, University Hospitals of Geneva, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland
Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland

Leonardo Ceravolo
Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics Laboratory (NEAD), Department of Psychology and Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland

Corrado Corradi-Dell’Acqua
Theory of Pain Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (FPSE), University of Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva Neuroscience Centre, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Didier Grandjean
Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics Laboratory (NEAD), Department of Psychology and Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland

Jordan Pierce
Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology Laboratory, Faculty of Psychology, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Arnaud Saj
Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, 2900 Montreal, QC, Canada



Swiss National Science Foundation, UNIGE
"Influence of top-down mechanisms on cerebellar activity during vocal emotion decoding" (2023-2026)
Grant N°: 105314_215015

Swiss National Science Foundation, UNIGE
"Cerebellar contribution to human emotion: insights from stroke and neuroimaging" (2019-2023)
Grant N°: 105314_182221

Integrated model of emotional prosody processing. An emotional prosodic stimulus is processed by the cortex, the basal ganglia, and the cerebellum. Each sensorimotor (yellow), associative (orange), and limbic (green) region of each structure takes part in this processing. The functional gradient present for the basal ganglia is represented by the overlapping colors. The basal ganglia and the cerebellum are involved in different temporal pattern processing. The basal ganglia process regular temporal patterns in order to detect global similarity with previous responses to what was previously rewarded. The cerebellum processes irregular temporal patterns to detect the fine variations that possibly deviate from what is tolerated in terms of a response in relation to the individual's current state. The chunking process is elaborated by the basal ganglia if emotional sequences are recurrent, as induced by a triggered stimulus (internal or external), and, once started, it may come to an end without conscious control. Chunks are also refined by the cerebellum to gain precision so that the basal ganglia can activate downstream regions more quickly to generate a response. Abbreviations: GPe: external globus pallidus; GPi: internal globus pallidus; STN: subthalamic nucleus.