April 14, 2021

Neuropsychological assessment and virtual reality training of social prediction in patients with cerebellar malformation

It has been proposed that impairments of the predictive function exerted by the cerebellum may account for social cognition deficits. Here, we integrated cerebellar functions in a predictive coding framework to elucidate how cerebellar alterations could affect the predictive processing of others’ behavior. Experiment 1 demonstrated that cerebellar patients were impaired in relying on contextual information during action prediction, and this impairment was significantly associated with social cognition abilities. Experiment 2 indicated that patients with cerebellar malformation showed a domain-general deficit in using contextual information to predict both social and physical events. Experiment 3 provided first evidence that a social-prediction training in virtual reality could boost the ability to use context-based predictions to understand others’ intentions. These findings shed new light on the predictive role of the cerebellum and its contribution to social cognition, paving the way for new approaches to the rehabilitation of the Cerebellar Cognitive Affective Syndrome.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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