Cerebellar Gray Matter Volume and its Role in Executive Function, and Attention: Sex Differences by Age in Adolescents
Hayeon Kim 1, 6, Bumhee Park 2, 5, 6, Shin-Young Kim 1, Jiyea Kim 1, Bora Kim 1, Kyu-In Jung 1, Seung-Yup Lee 1, Yerin Hyun 1, Bung-Nyun Kim 3, Subin Park 4, Min-Hyeon Park 1*
1Department of Psychiatry, Eunpyeong St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 2Department of Biomedical Informatics, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Republic of Korea., 3Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea. , 4Department of Research Planning, National Center for Mental Health, Seoul, Republic of Korea. , 5Office of Biostatistics, Ajou Research Institute for Innovative Medicine, Ajou University Medical Center, Suwon, Republic of Korea., 6These authors contributed equally: Hayeon Kim and Bumhee Park.
Received: April 5, 2021; Revised: July 21, 2021; Accepted: July 21, 2021; Published online: July 21, 2021.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

This research measures the regional GMV (rGMV) of the cerebellum, attention, Executive Function (EF) and we aimed to identify their correlation and sex differences in children and adolescents.
Subjects comprised 114 children (M=62, F=52, 12.44 ± 2.99 years old) from South Korea. Participants were divided into three groups by age (Age 6-9, 10-13, and 14-17). The Stroop Color and Word Test (SCWT), Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), and Advanced Test of Attention (ATA) were used to estimate executive function. MRI images were analyzed with Regional Voxel-Based Morphometry (VBM) Analysis.
The correlations between cerebellar rGMV and SCWT, WCST, and ATA subcategories showed difference by age and sex. In 6-9 age group, girls showed more overall correlations with cerebellar regions than boys, in WCST Categories Completed and ATA results. In age 10-13 group, more regions of cerebellum corresponded to SCWT subcategories in girls. Nevertheless, more correlation between cerebellar rGMV, WCST subcategories and some ATA subtests were observed in boys in the same age group. In the adolescent group, aged 14-17, boys showed more correlation with cerebellar rGMV, while girls showed little correlation.
This study highlights that sex-different cerebellum maturation in adolescence might be correlated with EF and attention. These results provides evidence that cerebellum modulates higher cognitive functioning during child development.
Keywords: Adolescent, Child, Cerebellum, Executive function, Attention, Voxel-based morphometry