gms | German Medical Science

60. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC)
Joint Meeting mit den Benelux-Ländern und Bulgarien

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC) e. V.

24. - 27.05.2009, Münster

Cerebellar lesions affect visual processing of body motion

Meeting Abstract

  • A. Sokolov - Universitätsklinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Tübingen
  • A. Gharabaghi - Universitätsklinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Tübingen
  • M. Pavlova - Universitätskinderklinik Tübingen & MEG-Zentrum, Institut für Medizinische Psychologie und Verhaltensneurobiologie, Universität Tübingen
  • M. Tatagiba - Universitätsklinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 60. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit den Benelux-Ländern und Bulgarien. Münster, 24.-27.05.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. DocMI.08-02

doi: 10.3205/09dgnc222, urn:nbn:de:0183-09dgnc2224

Veröffentlicht: 20. Mai 2009

© 2009 Sokolov et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Objective: In neurosurgical patients, we studied the impact of cerebellar lesions on the visual processing of human body motion. Veridical visual perception of body motion is of crucial importance for a variety of daily life activities, such as safe car driving and successful social interaction. Since the right temporal cortex, which is a key for visual processing of body motion, is connected to the left cerebellum, we assume that proper functioning of the network specialized for body motion perception might be affected by left cerebellar lesions.

Methods: By combining psychophysics with a lesion analysis, we assessed visual sensitivity to human locomotion in eight patients with either lateral or medial tumors of the left cerebellum. Participants had to detect a point-light walking figure consisting of 11 dots placed on the main joints of an otherwise invisible human body that was simultaneously camouflaged by additional moving dots. Analysis and volumetry of lesions were performed on structural MRI images with MRIcro and Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM) 2 software. We also present the data of pre- and postoperative examination of a patient SLO with an extensive left cerebellar gangliocytoma (WHO grade I).

Results: Patients with lesions to the left lateral cerebellum exhibit a significantly lower sensitivity to human locomotion than controls, while patients with left medial lesions were equally sensitive to human walking as controls. Patient SLO’s preoperative sensitivity to human walking was at chance level. Eight months after neurosurgery, their sensitivity improved substantially, and, after 24 months, reached the level of healthy controls.

Conclusions: The findings point to involvement of the left lateral cerebellum in an action observation network, and shed light on cerebellar plasticity. This opens a window for optimal preservation of higher cognitive functions during neurosurgery of the cerebellum. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) combined with neuropsychological assessment are required for further investigation and identification of cerebellar regions engaged in visual processing of body motion.