A newly published article by the Department of Neurology, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine outlines another look into the role the cerebellum plays in language development and cognition. There are many researchers investigating this part of the brain that is so deeply involved in movement and a huge variety of “automated” functions. The exact logic of how the brain uses all its various systems to divide and tackle the complex cognitive tasks it performs every day is still in its infancy. However, the efficiency of cerebellar functions and how it can be enhanced through calibrated neuro-motor and vestibular training is constantly being examined as a likely method of improving brain fitness generally and as a way to overcome specific learning challenges.

The entire article is available here: Functional Topography of the Cerebellum in Verbal Working Memory, with the abstract printed below for your convenience.

Abstract :

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.