Silvia Clausi

Silvia Clausi
Sapienza University of Rome | la sapienza · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

54
Publications
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Introduction
Silvia Clausi currently works at the Ataxia Lab, Foundation Santa Lucia. Silvia does research in Cognitive Science, Cognitive Psychology and Neuropsychology. Her current project is 'Cerebellar-cortical circuits in Autism Spectrum Disorders: new perspectives for treatment implementation.'

Publications

Publications (54)
Preprint
Increasing evidence from neuroimaging and clinical studies demonstrated cerebellar involvement in social cognition components, including the mentalizing process. The aim of this study was to apply transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to modulate cerebellar excitability to investigate the role the cerebellum plays in mental state recogniti...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, structural and functional alterations in the cerebellum have been reported in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Intriguingly, recent studies demonstrated that the social behavioral profile of individuals with cerebellar pathologies is characterized by a theory of mind (ToM) impairment, one of the main behavioral hallmarks of ASD. The...
Article
Clinical studies described emotional and social behaviour alterations in patients with cerebellar diseases, proposing a role of specific cerebello-cerebral circuits in social cognition. However, for a long time these difficulties were underestimated, and no studies have addressed the correlation between social cognition deficits and topography of t...
Article
Full-text available
The traditional view on the cerebellum is that it controls motor behavior. Although recent work has revealed that the cerebellum supports also nonmotor functions such as cognition and affect, only during the last 5 years it has become evident that the cerebellum also plays an important social role. This role is evident in social cognition based on...
Article
During the past decades, converging evidence from clinical, neuroimaging and neuroanatomical studies has demonstrated the key role of the cerebellum in the processing of non-motor aspects of language. Although more is known about the way in which the cerebellum participates in the mechanisms involved in written language, there is ambiguous informat...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, increasing evidence of the cerebellar role in social cognition has emerged. The cerebellum has been shown to modulate cortical activity of social brain regions serving as a regulator of function-specific mentalizing and mirroring processes. In particular, a mentalizing area in the posterior cerebellum, specifically Crus II, is pref...
Chapter
Approaches to thinking about the cerebellum have historically been overshadowed by the view that it is a structure mainly involved in the regulation and coordination of motor control. During the past decades, neuroanatomical, neuroimaging, and clinical studies have substantially modified this traditional view and provided new insights and a body of...
Article
Full-text available
Spastic paraplegia type 7 (SPG7), which represents one of the most common forms of autosomal recessive spastic paraplegia (MIM#607259), often manifests with a complicated phenotype, characterized by progressive spastic ataxia with evidence of cerebellar atrophy on brain MRI. Recent studies have documented the presence of peculiar dentate nucleus hy...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have focused on the role of the cerebellum in the social domain, including in Theory of Mind (ToM). ToM, or the “mentalizing” process, is the ability to attribute mental states, such as emotion, intentions and beliefs, to others to explain and predict their behavior. It is a fundamental aspect of social cognition and crucial for soci...
Data
Boxplots of the row scores obtained by the cerebellar patients and healthy subject in each social cognition task. CB, cerebellar patients; HS, healthy subjects; SE, standard error; SD, standard deviation.
Article
Background: Although depressive symptoms are often reported to be comorbid with degenerative cerebellar diseases, the role of the cerebellum in depressive disorder needs to be elucidated. To address this aim, we investigated self-perception of the negative mood state in patients with cerebellar pathology and depressive symptoms. Methods: Thirty-eig...
Article
Full-text available
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease involving the cerebellum and characterized by a typical motor syndrome. In addition, the presence of cognitive impairment is now widely acknowledged as a feature of SCA2. Given the extensive connections between the cerebellum and associative cerebral areas, it i...
Article
Autism Spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by core deficits in social functioning. Core autistics traits refer to poor social and imagination skills, poor attention-switching/strong focus of attention, exceptional attention to detail, as expressed by the Autism-Spectrum Quotient. Over the years, the importance of the ce...
Article
Full-text available
The cognitive control of movement suppression, including performance monitoring, is one of the core properties of the executive system. A complex cortical and subcortical network involving cerebral cortex, thalamus, subthalamus, and basal ganglia has been regarded as the neural substrate of inhibition of programmed movements. Using the countermandi...
Article
Full-text available
Spinocerebellarataxiatype2(SCA2) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease involving the cerebellum. The particular atrophy pattern results in some typical clinical features mainly including motor deficits. In addition, the presence of cognitive impairments, involving language, visuospatial and executive functions, has been also shown in S...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last decades, the importance of cerebellar processing for cortical functions has been acknowledged and consensus was reached on the strict functional and structural cor-tico-cerebellar interrelations. From an anatomical point of view strictly contralateral interconnections link the cerebellum to the cerebral cortex mainly through the middl...
Data
(WM_Voxel_Wise_Analysis) Supporting MRI data file contains the averaged MCP, L-SCP and R-SCP used as explicit masks and T-contrast and results of voxel-wise analysis between cerebellar patients and HS for FA, MD, and RD within the reconstructed tracts. (ZIP)
Data
(GM_Voxel_Based_Morphometry) Supporting MRI data file contains T-contrast and results of cerebral GM voxel-based morphometry between cerebellar patients and HS. (ZIP)
Conference Paper
Transcranial cerebellar direct current stimulation (tcDCS) can offer new insights into the cerebellar function and disorders, by modulating noninvasively the activity of cerebellar networks. Taking into account the functional interplay between the cerebellum and the cerebral cortex, we addressed the effects of unilateral tcDCS (active electrode pos...
Article
Full-text available
Studies from the past three decades have demonstrated that there is cerebellar involvement in the emotional domain. Emotional processing in humans requires both unconscious and conscious mechanisms. A significant amount of evidence indicates that the cerebellum is one of the cerebral structures that subserve emotional processing, although conflicti...
Article
Full-text available
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are known to be characterized by restricted and repetitive behaviors and interests and by impairments in social communication and interactions mainly including “theory of mind” (ToM) processes. The cerebellum has emerged as one of the brain regions affected by ASDs. As the cerebellum is known to influence cerebral c...
Article
Full-text available
Although cerebellar-cortical interactions have been studied extensively in animal models and humans using modern neuroimaging techniques, the effects of cerebellar stroke and focal lesions on cerebral cortical processing remain unknown. In the present study, we analyzed the large-scale functional connectivity at the cortical level by combining high...
Article
Full-text available
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease characterized by a progressive cerebellar syndrome, which can be isolated or associated with extracerebellar signs. It has been shown that patients affected by SCA2 present also cognitive impairments and psychiatric symptoms. The cerebellum is known to modulate...
Article
Objective: Several authors have proposed that the cerebellum has an important role in functions of higher order as a general mode of sequence detection, independently from the nature of the information. The aim of this study was to verify whether the cerebellum mediates the processing of navigational sequential information and to determine whether...
Article
Anatomical, clinical, and neuroimaging evidence implicates the cerebellum in processing emotions and feelings. Moreover recent studies showed a cerebellar involvement in pathologies such as autism, schizophrenia and alexithymia, in which emotional processing have been found altered. However, cerebellar function in the modulation of emotional respon...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have implicated the cerebellum as part of a circuitry that is necessary to modulate higher order and behaviorally relevant information in emotional domains. However, little is known about the relationship between the cerebellum and emotional processing. This study examined cerebellar function specifically in the processing of negativ...
Article
Thirty patients with cerebellar ataxia and 40 healthy volunteers underwent 7 days of mood monitoring using a new device requiring a low motor load. Its convergent validity and compliance were tested. The measurements resulted consistent with validated scale scores. Patients׳ motor impairment did not affect the compliance.
Poster
Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to recognize and attribute mental states to other people in order to explain and predict their behaviour (Brothers, 1990). It implies both automatic and conscious processing, which neural network consists of specific frontal and temporo-parietal areas, and subcortical structures (Coricelli, 2005). Neuroimaging an...
Article
Full-text available
Executive control of motor responses is a psychological construct of the executive system. Several studies have demonstrated the involvement of the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, and thalamus in the inhibition of actions and monitoring of performance. The involvement of the cerebellum in cognitive function and its functional interaction with basal...
Poster
“Executive functions’’ (EFs) refers to the ability to orchestrate different cognitive tasks to attain specific goals. There is a consensus that the lateral PFC and basal ganglia together with the cerebellum play a critical role in EFs. The cerebellar involvement in EFs is supported by the existence of specific anatomical connections with the latera...
Poster
Full-text available
It is well known that the cerebellar function by far exceed motor coordination, involving also modulation of cognitive and behavioural functions. Indeed, the cerebellum is part of a neural network including motor and associative regions. Moreover, findings of bidirectional pathways linking cerebellar and limbic structures have given rise to the sug...
Presentation
Full-text available
Background: Clinical and functional neuroimaging studies showed a cerebellar involvement in different attention tasks. Nevertheless, most studies have focused on single aspects of attention and it is still lacking a consensus regarding the overall cerebellar contribution to this function. Methods: A computerized battery (“Test-Battery of Attentiona...
Conference Paper
INTRODUZIONE. Diversi studi suggeriscono un ruolo del cervelletto nella regolazione emozionale e del tono dell’umore. Gli strumenti in uso per lo studio dell’umore non permettono un monitoraggio delle fluttuazioni giornaliere o rispetto ad eventi specifici, aspetti utili nello studio di pazienti cerebellari, che spesso presentano repentine modifica...
Poster
Full-text available
Recent studies involving patients with focal or degenerative cerebellar diseases demonstrated an extensive evidence of alterations in their emotional response and mood modulation related to the environment context. In light of this fact and given that these emotional abnormalities are not classified with the criteria of classical nosology (DSM-IV-R...
Conference Paper
Recent evidences suggested a role of cerebellum in automatic execution of over-learned cognitive routines, positing that the “internal model” theory for motor control could be applied on cognitive processing. The present study investigated the cerebellar role in learning and/or automation of behaviour based on low-order rules. We hypothesized that...
Article
Full-text available
The cerebellar role in non-motor functions is supported by the clinical finding that lesions confined to cerebellum produce the cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome. Nevertheless, there is no consensus regarding the overall cerebellar contribution to cognition. Among other reasons, this deficiency might be attributed to the small sample sizes an...
Thesis
Full-text available
A livello clinico, pazienti affetti da lesione cerebellare focale e con patologia cerebellare degenerativa riferiscono non solo disturbi motori, ma anche disfunzioni in diverse abilità cognitive, tra cui ad esempio le funzioni esecutive. Tali alterazioni vanno ad inficiare la qualità della vita di tali soggetti e probabilmente hanno delle conseguen...
Article
Anatomical, experimental, functional neuroimaging, and clinical data implicate the importance of corticocerebellar interactions in many nonmotor domains, such as sensory, cognitive, emotional, and affective processing. The modular organization and multifarious domains of activity suggest that cerebellar functional specificity has to be searched in...
Article
There is growing evidence based on behavioral and functional imaging studies about the cerebellar involvement in the modulation of cognitive functions. However, it still remains to be clarified how the cerebellum interacts with brain regions sub-serving different cognitive domains. In this study we used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and voxel ba...
Article
Full-text available
The idea that cerebellar processing is required in a variety of cognitive functions is well accepted in the neuroscience community. Nevertheless, the definition of its role in the different cognitive domains remains rather elusive. Current data on perceptual and cognitive processing are reviewed with special emphasis on cerebellar sequencing proper...
Article
Full-text available
Although cognitive impairment after cerebellar damage has been widely reported, the mechanisms of cerebro-cerebellar interactions are still a matter of debate. The cerebellum is involved in sequence detection and production in both motor and sensory domains, and sequencing has been proposed as the basic mechanism of cerebellar functioning. Furtherm...
Article
The cerebellum is a recent addition to the growing list of cerebral areas involved in the multifaceted structural system that sustains verbal working memory (vWM), but its contribution is still a matter of debate. Here, we present a patient with a selective deficit of vWM resulting from a bilateral cerebellar ischemic lesion. After this acute event...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Previous behavioural studies indicate specific cognitive dysfunctions in patients with cerebellar lesions. Consistently, several functional imaging studies in healthy subjects demonstrate direct involvement of the cerebellum in different cognitive tasks. However, interactions between the cerebellum and cerebral areas still remains largely debated....

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Aim of the project is to investigate the effects of the transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the cerebellum on specific cognitive domains and on the social behaviour.
Project
The present project is focused on the study of mood disorders and of the social cognition alterations in patients affected by cerebellar pathology.
Project
Aim of the present project is to elucidate, by means an integrated behavioural, neuroimaging and neurophysiological approach, the cerebellar involvement in specific Theory of Mind components and to clarify the role of cerebello-cerebral circuits in ASDs pathogenesis, opening new perspectives on ASDs treatment.