The cerebellum sends dense projections to both motor and non-motor regions of the cerebral cortex via the cerebellarthalamocortical tract. The integrity of this tract is crucial for healthy motor and cognitive function. This systematic review examines research using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the cerebellum with combined cortical electroencephalography (EEG) to explore the temporal features of cerebellar-cortical connectivity. A detailed discussion of the outcomes and limitations of the studies meeting review criteria is presented. Databases were searched between 1 December 2017 and 6 December 2017, with Scopus alerts current as of 23 July 2019. Of the 407 studies initially identified, 10 met review criteria. Findings suggested that cerebellar-cortical assessment is suited to combined TMS and EEG, although work is required to ensure experimental procedures are optimal for eliciting a reliable cerebellar response from stimulation. A distinct variation in methodologies and outcome measures employed across studies, and small sample sizes limited the conclusions that could be drawn regarding the electrophysiological signatures of cerebellar-cortical communication. This review highlights the need for stringent protocols and methodologies for cerebellar-cortical assessments via combined TMS and EEG. With these in place, combined TMS and EEG will provide a valuable means for exploring cerebellar connectivity with a wide range of cortical sites. Assessments have the potential to aid in the understanding of motor and cognitive function in both healthy and clinical groups, and provide insights into long-range neural communication generally.
- Cerebellarthalamocortical tract
- Neural oscillations
- Non-invasive brain stimulation
- TMS-evoked potentials