Functional Topography of the Cerebellum in Verbal Working Memory

Department of Neurology, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1620 McElderry St., Reed Hall 2205B, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Neuropsychology Review (Impact Factor: 4.59). 09/2010; 20(3):271-9. DOI: 10.1007/s11065-010-9137-7
Source: PubMed


Speech-both overt and covert-facilitates working memory by creating and refreshing motor memory traces, allowing new information to be received and processed. Neuroimaging studies suggest a functional topography within the sub-regions of the cerebellum that subserve verbal working memory. Medial regions of the anterior cerebellum support overt speech, consistent with other forms of motor execution such as finger tapping, whereas lateral portions of the superior cerebellum support speech planning and preparation (e.g., covert speech). The inferior cerebellum is active when information is maintained across a delay, but activation appears to be independent of speech, lateralized by modality of stimulus presentation, and possibly related to phonological storage processes. Motor (dorsal) and cognitive (ventral) channels of cerebellar output nuclei can be distinguished in working memory. Clinical investigations suggest that hyper-activity of cerebellum and disrupted control of inner speech may contribute to certain psychiatric symptoms.

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    • ", 2014 ) . Both imaging and lesion studies indicate that the cerebellum is involved in numerous aspects of language processing , including verbal working memory , phonological processing , semantic processing , and verbal fluency ( Marvel and Desmond , 2010 ; van den Bosch et al . , 2014 ; Highnam and Bleile , 2015 ) . "
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    • "The cerebellum, in contrast, has been proposed to support maintenance of verbal working memory (i.e. articulatory rehearsal) via its connections with motor cortex (Marvel and Desmond, 2010). Although a number of right-hemisphere regions were active during the dialogic condition, there was less evidence to suggest that this involved the specific recruitment of either language region homologues or voice-selective areas. "
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    • "), with specific functions in maintenance of verbal information and covert planning of speech acts (Geva et al., 2011; Marvel & Desmond, 2010; Scott, 2013). This view of inner speech is reflected in the selection of tasks in neuroimaging studies, in which participants are typically asked to repeat words or sentences, or judge the stress of specific syllables. "
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