Sensorimotor transduction of time information is preserved in subjects with cerebellar damage

Marco Molinari, Maria G. Leggio, Valeria Filippini, Maria C. Gioia, Antonio Cerasa, Michael H. Thaut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cerebellar contribution to motor entrainment through rhythmic auditory stimuli was analyzed by comparing rhythmic motor responses in subjects with cerebellar pathologies and in healthy controls. Eleven patients with cerebellar lesions and eight healthy subjects tapped in synchrony with an auditory rhythmic stimulus using a hand-held pencil-shaped electrode connected to a PC. A 60-stimulus sequence was delivered with an ISI of 500 ms and changed at random to a new ISI value with either consciously perceived (±50 ms) or unperceived tempo changes (±10 ms). Synchronization patterns for both groups were computed based on the timing of interresponse intervals (IRIs) and synchronization errors (SE). Variability of IRI as well as the timing of adaptation patterns after the tempo changes were modeled and analyzed mathematically using a logistic/sigmoid function. Healthy subjects performed with significantly lower IRI variability than cerebellar patients. Patients with focal lesions performed with significantly lower IRI variability than patients with atrophic lesions. Asymptote parameters during isochronous synchronization as well as slope angles and symmetry points of the adaptation curves after tempo perturbation showed no significant differences between groups. Present data indicate that temporal variability of rhythmic motor responses is differentially affected by distinct cerebellar pathologies but that motor entrainment to auditory rhythms is not affected by lesion of the cerebellar circuits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-458
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 30 2005


  • Cerebellum
  • Motor entrainment
  • Motor rehabilitation
  • Rhythm perception
  • Timing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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