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Discrimination of temporal information at the cerebellum: functional magnetic resonance imaging of nonverbal auditory memory

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Citation

Mathiak, K., Hertrich, I., Grodd, W., & Ackermann, H. (2004). Discrimination of temporal information at the cerebellum: functional magnetic resonance imaging of nonverbal auditory memory. NeuroImage, 21(1), 154-162. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2003.09.036.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-4F99-7
Abstract
Until recently, the cerebellum was held to play its chief role in motor control. By contrast, Keele and Ivry (1990) proposed that it may subserve time estimation within the perceptual domain as well. In accordance with this suggestion, speech perception requiring minute differentiation of time intervals was found compromised by cerebellar pathology a subsequent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study found hemodynamic activation of the right neocerebellum under these conditions. In the current fMRI investigation a non-speech task involving duration storage and comparison yielded significant hemodynamic responses within the lateral Crus I area of the right cerebellar hemisphere. Concomitantly, a left prefrontal cluster was observed. The present fMRI study employed single-shot double-echo echo-planar imaging (EPI) to reduce image distortion and acquisition time with whole-brain coverage (TE = 28 and 66 ms, TR = 5 s, 28 slices, TA = 2.8 s). Twelve healthy subjects performed two tasks: identifying pauses between tones as “short” or “long” (30–130 ms) and deciding which of two successive pauses was longer. The activation pattern in the discrimination task was analogous to that seen during speech perception and verbal working memory (WM) tasks. We suggest that the storage of precise temporal structures relies on a cerebellar-prefrontal loop. This network allows for temporal organization of verbal sequences and phoneme encoding based on durational operations in a linguistic context.