Modality specificity in the cerebro-cerebellar neurocircuitry during working memory


Previous studies have suggested cerebro-cerebellar circuitry in working memory. The present fMRI study aims to distinguish differential cerebro-cerebellar activation patterns in verbal and visual working memory, and employs a quantitative analysis to determine lateralization of the activation patterns observed. Consistent with Chen and Desmond (2005a,b) predictions, verbal working memory activated a cerebro-cerebellar circuitry that comprised left-lateralized language-related brain regions including the inferior frontal and posterior parietal areas, and subcortically, right-lateralized superior (lobule VI) and inferior cerebellar (lobule VIIIA/VIIB) areas. In contrast, a distributed network of bilateral inferior frontal and inferior temporal areas, and bilateral superior (lobule VI) and inferior (lobule VIIB) cerebellar areas, was recruited during visual working memory. Results of the study verified that a distinct cross cerebro-cerebellar circuitry underlies verbal working memory. However, a neural circuitry involving specialized brain areas in bilateral neocortical and bilateral cerebellar hemispheres subserving visual working memory is observed. Findings are discussed in the light of current models of working memory and data from related neuroimaging studies.

Ng, H. B. T., Kao, K. L. C., Chan, Y. C., Chew, E., Chuang, K. H., & Chen, S. H. A. (2016). Modality specificity in the cerebro-cerebellar neurocircuitry during working memory. Behavioural Brain Research, 305, 164-173. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2016.02.027
Annabel Chen
Annabel Chen
Professor of Psychology
Lab Director

Dr. SH Annabel Chen is a clinical neuropsychologist, and currently a Faculty member of Psychology at the School of Social Sciences.