LIBERA SICILIANO

PhD Graduate

PhD program:: XXXIII



Thesis title: Unravelling the social role of the human cerebellum: from cerebellar diseases to Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Over last decades, consensus has been reached about the role of the cerebellum in social cognition(Van Overwalle et al., 2020).The occurrence of emotional and mentalizing disturbances in patients with various types of cerebellar diseases, that impact on their social skills, has been documented (Clausi et al., 2019a; Olivito et al., 2019; Clausi et al., 202). At the same time, structural and functional cerebellar alterations have been frequently reported to be relevant for the onset of the main social and behavioural difficulties arising in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), entailing both emotional and Theory of Mind dysfunctions (D’Mello et al., 2015; Olivito et al., 2017). Nevertheless, a detailed social cognition profile disentangled in its constituents, and postulations on the cerebellar specific role in each of those, have not been clearly defined in both the aforementioned conditions. From a theoretical point of view, it has been hypothesized that the typical cerebellar role in adaptive control and predictive and sequential coding of motor and cognitive functions, that culminate in the generation of internal models, could also be extended to social behavior, perhaps shaping the phenomenology of both cerebellar pathologies and ASD (Leggio and Molinari, 2015). If that’s true, some overlaps in both social cognition profiles and cerebellar structural and functional organization may be found when comparing such conditions. Thus, the general aim of the PhD project reported in the current thesis was to elucidate, by means of an integrated behavioral and neuroimaging approach, the cerebellar involvement in specific aspects of Social Cognition and to clarify the role of cerebellar-cerebral circuits in affecting the social functioning of patients with degenerative cerebellar diseases and in ASD’s pathogenesis. As reported in the results of the different studies described in the thesis, further prove on the importance of including the cerebellum in the “social brain network” was gained, corroborating the specific involvement of the cerebellar lobule Crus II in mediating ToM abilities. In addition, we provided additional hypotheses on the specific role implemented by the cerebellum in social processing, whose fluid, optimized and adaptive functioning is mediated by the constant coordination between the cerebellum and structurally and functionally connected cortical and subcortical areas. Our findings are in line with the “sequence detection theory” developed by Leggio and colleagues (2011; 2015), according to which the cerebellum produces internal models of mental processes that occur during social interactions and for which the prediction of sequential events is crucial. The cerebellar operational mode that we propose constitutes a new perspective on the role of the cerebellum in social functioning, sheding further light on the impact of social problems on the quality of life of patients with cerebellar diseases and on the pathogenesis of ASD.

Research products

11573/1711733 - 2024 - Effective connectivity analysis of resting-state mentalizing brain networks in spinocerebellar ataxia type 2: A dynamic causal modeling study
Olivito, G.; Siciliano, L.; Leggio, M.; Van Overwalle, F. - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: NEUROIMAGE. CLINICAL (Amsterdam : Elsevier) pp. - - issn: 2213-1582 - wos: (0) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85195076877 (0)

11573/1701491 - 2024 - Target updating during reach-to-grasp actions in a virtual environment: behavioural correlates & pilot fMRI data
Tani, Michelangelo; Bencivenga, Federica; Boukarras, Sarah; Ottaviani, Cristina; Conti, Desirée; Vyas, Krishnendu; Candidi, Matteo; Leggio, Maria; Olivito, Giusy; Siciliano, Libera; Urbini, Nicole; Martelli, Marialuisa; Galati, Gaspare - 04f Poster
conference: Cognitive Science Arena (Brixen; Italy)
book: CSA 2024 - ()

11573/1695393 - 2023 - Theory of Mind and Cerebellum
Olivito, G.; Siciliano, L.; Leggio, M. - 02a Capitolo o Articolo
book: Essentials of Cerebellum and Cerebellar Disorders: A Primer For Graduate Students, Second Edition - (978-3-031-15069-2; 978-3-031-15070-8)

11573/1676471 - 2023 - The cerebellum gets social: Evidence from an exploratory study of cerebellar, neurodevelopmental, and psychiatric disorders
Olivito, G; Siciliano, L; Clausi, S; Lupo, M; Baiocco, R; Gragnani, A; Saettoni, M; Delle Chiaie, R; Laghi, F; Leggio, M - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: BIOMEDICINES (Basel: MDPI) pp. 1-19 - issn: 2227-9059 - wos: WOS:000938890900001 (7) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85148899991 (8)

11573/1676467 - 2023 - The role of the cerebellum in sequencing and predicting social and nonsocial events in patients with bipolar disorder
Siciliano, L; Olivito, G; Lupo, M; Urbini, N; Gragnani, A; Saettoni, M; Delle Chiaie, R; Leggio, M. - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: FRONTIERS IN CELLULAR NEUROSCIENCE (Lausanne (PO Box 110, 1015) : Frontiers Research Foundation, 2007-) pp. 1-12 - issn: 1662-5102 - wos: WOS:000940129100001 (3) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85149582143 (3)

11573/1685557 - 2023 - The rising role of cognitive reserve and associated compensatory brain networks in spinocerebellar ataxia type 2
Siciliano, Libera; Olivito, Giusy; Urbini, Nicole; Silveri, Maria Caterina; Leggio, Maria - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY (Heidelberg: Springer Verlag Heidelberg: Steinkopff) pp. 5071-5084 - issn: 1432-1459 - wos: WOS:001024250300001 (1) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85164189697 (1)

11573/1689737 - 2023 - Unveiling the role of cerebellar alterations in the autonomic nervous system: a systematic review of autonomic dysfunction in spinocerebellar ataxias
Urbini, N.; Siciliano, L.; Olivito, G.; Leggio, M. - 01g Articolo di rassegna (Review)
paper: JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY (Heidelberg Germany: Springer Verlag) pp. 5756-5772 - issn: 0340-5354 - wos: WOS:001070278400001 (0) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85172378481 (0)

11573/1659052 - 2022 - Cerebellum and emotion in social behavior
Clausi, S; Siciliano, L; Olivito, G; Leggio, M - 02a Capitolo o Articolo
book: The emotional cerebellum - ()

11573/1572603 - 2022 - Aberrant cerebello-cerebral connectivity in remitted bipolar patients 1 and 2: new insight into understanding the cerebellar role in mania and hypomania
Olivito, G; Lupo, M; Gragnani, A; Saettoni, M; Siciliano, L; Pancheri, C; Panfili, M; Cercignani, M; Bozzali, M; Chiaie, Rd; Leggio, M - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: THE CEREBELLUM (New York: Springer London: Martin Dunitz Ltd, 2002-) pp. 647-656 - issn: 1473-4222 - wos: WOS:000688408900001 (12) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85113360314 (12)

11573/1659046 - 2022 - Theory of mind profile and cerebellar alterations in remitted bipolar disorder 1 and 2: a comparison study
Olivito, G; Lupo, M; Siciliano, L; Gragnani, A; Saettoni, M; Pancheri, C; Panfili, M; Pignatelli, F; Delle Chiaie, R; Leggio, M. - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: FRONTIERS IN BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE (Lausanne : Frontiers Research Foundation) pp. - - issn: 1662-5153 - wos: WOS:000859651200001 (3) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85138564454 (3)

11573/1676036 - 2022 - The cerebellum is a key structure in the neural network for mentalizing: an MRI study in the Behavioral Variant of Fron-totemporal Dementia
Olivito, G; Quaranta, D; Siciliano, L; Caraglia, N; Caprara, A; Marra, C; Leggio, M; Silveri, Mc. - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: BIOMEDICINES (Basel: MDPI) pp. 1-15 - issn: 2227-9059 - wos: WOS:000894317600001 (1) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85149455771 (1)

11573/1659050 - 2022 - The cerebellum gains weight! A systematic review of alterations in cerebellar volume and cerebro-cerebellar functional connectivity in individuals with eating disorders.
Siciliano, L; Olivito, G; Leggio, M - 01g Articolo di rassegna (Review)
paper: NEUROSCIENCE AND BIOBEHAVIORAL REVIEWS (Elsevier Science Limited:Oxford Fulfillment Center, PO Box 800, Kidlington Oxford OX5 1DX United Kingdom:011 44 1865 843000, 011 44 1865 843699, EMAIL: asianfo@elsevier.com, tcb@elsevier.co.UK, INTERNET: http://www.elsevier.com, http://www.elsevier.com/locate/shpsa/, Fax: 011 44 1865 843010) pp. - - issn: 0149-7634 - wos: WOS:000861813300002 (8) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85137741275 (8)

11573/1659048 - 2022 - 'Mens sana in corpore sano': the emerging link of motor reserve with motor and cognitive abilities and compensatory brain networks in SCA2 patients.
Siciliano, L; Olivito, G; Urbini, N; Silveri, Mc; Leggio, M. - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: BIOMEDICINES (Basel: MDPI) pp. - - issn: 2227-9059 - wos: WOS:000858484100001 (4) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85138640164 (4)

11573/1522592 - 2021 - The neurobiological underpinning of the social cognition impairments in patients with spinocerebellar ataxia type 2
Clausi, S; Olivito, G; Siciliano, L; Lupo, M; Bozzali, M; Masciullo, M; Molinari, M; Romano, S; Leggio, M - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: CORTEX (Primo editore: Tipografica Varese, Varese Attuale:Masson SPA:via Flli Bressan 2, I 20126 Milan Italy:011 39 02 27074286, EMAIL: aboonamenti@masson.it, INTERNET: http://www.masson.it, Fax: 011 39 02 27074210) pp. 101-112 - issn: 0010-9452 - wos: WOS:000640967800012 (20) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85101990531 (23)

11573/1572583 - 2021 - The cerebellum is linked to theory of mind alterations in autism. A direct clinical and MRI comparison between individuals with autism and cerebellar neurodegenerative pathologies
Clausi, Silvia; Olivito, Giusy; Siciliano, Libera; Lupo, Michela; Laghi, Fiorenzo; Baiocco, Roberto; Leggio, Maria - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: AUTISM RESEARCH (Hoboken, NJ : Wiley Periodicals, Inc.) pp. 2300-2313 - issn: 1939-3792 - wos: WOS:000683392900001 (11) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85112098002 (12)

11573/1408317 - 2021 - Does the cerebellar sequential theory explain spoken language impairments? A literature review
Lupo, M; Olivito, G; Angelini, L; Funghi, G; Pignatelli, F; Siciliano, L; Leggio, M; Clausi, S. - 01g Articolo di rassegna (Review)
paper: CLINICAL LINGUISTICS & PHONETICS (Taylor & Francis Limited:Rankine Road, Basingstoke RG24 8PR United Kingdom:011 44 1256 813035, EMAIL: madeline.sims@tandf.co.uk, info@tandf.co.uk, INTERNET: http://www.tandf.co.uk, Fax: 011 44 1256 330245) pp. 296-309 - issn: 0269-9206 - wos: WOS:000526653400001 (4) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85083550129 (5)

11573/1540970 - 2021 - Comparison of cerebellar grey matter alterations in bipolar and cerebellar patients: evidence from Voxel-based analysis
Lupo, M; Olivito, G; Gragnani, A; Saettoni, M; Siciliano, L; Pancheri, C; Panfili, M; Bozzali, M; Delle Chiaie, R; Leggio, M - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES (Basel (Matthaeustrasse 11) : Molecular Diversity Preservation International MDPI) pp. - - issn: 1661-6596 - wos: WOS:000638667200001 (14) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85103079916 (15)

11573/1385006 - 2020 - Cerebello-cortical alterations linked to cognitive and social problems in patients with spastic paraplegia type 7: a preliminary study
Lupo, M; Olivito, G; Clausi, S; Siciliano, L; Riso, V; Bozzali, M; Santorelli, Fm; Silvestri, G; Leggio, M - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: FRONTIERS IN NEUROLOGY (Lausanne: Frontiers Research Foundation, 2010-) pp. - - issn: 1664-2295 - wos: WOS:000524558500001 (13) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85082434351 (14)

11573/1381151 - 2020 - Functional changes of mentalizing network in SCA2 patients: novel insights into understanding the social cerebellum
Olivito, G.; Siciliano, L.; Clausi, S.; Lupo, M.; Romano, S.; Masciullo, M.; Molinari, M.; Cercignani, M.; Bozzali, M.; Leggio, M. - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: THE CEREBELLUM (New York: Springer London: Martin Dunitz Ltd, 2002-) pp. 235-242 - issn: 1473-4222 - wos: WOS:000520825000009 (16) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85077707822 (18)

11573/1613798 - 2020 - Implicit vs. Explicit Emotion Processing in Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Opinion on the Role of the Cerebellum
Siciliano, L.; Clausi, S. - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY (Lausanne: Frontiers Editorial) pp. - - issn: 1664-1078 - wos: WOS:000515933700001 (17) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85079502510 (19)

11573/1434119 - 2020 - Consensus paper: cerebellum and social cognition
Van Overwalle, F; Manto, M; Cattaneo, Z; Clausi, S; Ferrari, C; Gabrieli, Jde; Guell, X; Heleven, E; Lupo, M; Ma, Q; Michelutti, M; Olivito, G; Pu, M; Rice, Lc; Schmahmann, Jd; Siciliano, L; Sokolov, Aa; Stoodley, Cj; Van Dun, K; Vandervert, L; Leggio, M - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: THE CEREBELLUM (New York: Springer London: Martin Dunitz Ltd, 2002-) pp. 833-868 - issn: 1473-4222 - wos: WOS:000545937300001 (181) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85087619047 (197)

11573/1212615 - 2019 - Depression disorder in patients with cerebellar damage. Awareness of the mood state
Clausi, S; Lupo, M; Olivito, G; Siciliano, L; Contento, Mp; Aloise, F; Pizzamiglio, L; Molinari, M; Leggio, M - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: JOURNAL OF AFFECTIVE DISORDERS (Elsevier BV:PO Box 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam Netherlands:011 31 20 4853757, 011 31 20 4853642, 011 31 20 4853641, EMAIL: nlinfo-f@elsevier.nl, INTERNET: http://www.elsevier.nl, Fax: 011 31 20 4853598) pp. 386-393 - issn: 0165-0327 - wos: WOS:000456697100050 (33) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85056221092 (39)

11573/1225955 - 2019 - The cerebellar predictions for social interactions. Theory of mind abilities in patients with degenerative cerebellar atrophy
Clausi, Silvia; Olivito, Giusy; Lupo, Michela; Siciliano, Libera; Bozzali, Marco; Leggio, Maria - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: FRONTIERS IN CELLULAR NEUROSCIENCE (Lausanne (PO Box 110, 1015) : Frontiers Research Foundation, 2007-) pp. - - issn: 1662-5102 - wos: WOS:000455158000001 (58) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85061271294 (65)

11573/1315073 - 2019 - From cerebellar alterations to mood disorders: A systematic review
Lupo, M.; Siciliano, L.; Leggio, M. - 01g Articolo di rassegna (Review)
paper: NEUROSCIENCE AND BIOBEHAVIORAL REVIEWS (Elsevier Science Limited:Oxford Fulfillment Center, PO Box 800, Kidlington Oxford OX5 1DX United Kingdom:011 44 1865 843000, 011 44 1865 843699, EMAIL: asianfo@elsevier.com, tcb@elsevier.co.UK, INTERNET: http://www.elsevier.com, http://www.elsevier.com/locate/shpsa/, Fax: 011 44 1865 843010) pp. 21-28 - issn: 0149-7634 - wos: WOS:000483424200004 (44) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85067691636 (48)

11573/1315095 - 2019 - Non-linear spelling in writing after a pure cerebellar lesion
Lupo, M; Siciliano, L; Olivito, G; Masciullo, M; Bozzali, M; Molinari, M; Cercignani, M; Silveri, Mc; Leggio, M. - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: NEUROPSYCHOLOGIA (Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier Science Limited) pp. - - issn: 0028-3932 - wos: WOS:000493914100022 (3) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85069563357 (4)

11573/1083842 - 2018 - Development of a psychiatric disorder linked to cerebellar lesions
1. Lupo, M.; Olivito, G.; Siciliano, Libera; Masciullo, M.; Bozzali, M.; Molinari, M.; Leggio, M. - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: THE CEREBELLUM (New York: Springer London: Martin Dunitz Ltd, 2002-) pp. 438-446 - issn: 1473-4222 - wos: WOS:000437113000006 (22) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85042173807 (28)

11573/1161987 - 2018 - Evidence of cerebellar involvement in the onset of a manic state
Lupo, Michela; Olivito, Giusy; Siciliano, Libera; Masciullo, Marcella; Molinari, Marco; Cercignani, Mara; Bozzali, Marco; Leggio, Maria - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: FRONTIERS IN NEUROLOGY (Lausanne: Frontiers Research Foundation, 2010-) pp. - - issn: 1664-2295 - wos: WOS:000444432100001 (31) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85055245784 (31)

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