Effects of cerebellar lesions on working memory interacting with motor tasks of different complexities.

Abstract:

:We examined the influence of focal cerebellar lesions on working memory (n-back task), gait, and the interaction between working memory and different gait tasks in a dual-task paradigm. The analysis included 17 young patients with chronic focal lesions after cerebellar tumor resection and 17 age-matched controls. Patients have shown mild to moderate ataxia. Lesion sites were examined on the basis of structural magnetic resonance imaging. N-back tasks were executed with different levels of difficulty (n = 1-4) during sitting (baseline), treadmill walking, and treadmill tandem walking (dual-task conditions). Patients exhibited decreased n-back performance particularly at difficult n-back levels and in dual-task conditions. Voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping revealed that decreased baseline n-back performance was associated with lesions of the posterolateral cerebellar hemisphere and the dentate nucleus. By contrast, decreased n-back performance in dual-task conditions was more associated with motor-related areas including dorsal portions of the dentate and the interposed nucleus, suggesting a prioritization of the motor task. During baseline walking, increased gait variability was associated with lesions in medial and intermediate regions, whereas for baseline tandem gait, lesions in the posterolateral hemispheres and the dentate nucleus became important. Posterolateral regions overlapped with regions related to baseline n-back performance. Consistently, we observed increased tandem gait variability with growing n-back difficulty in the dual-task condition. These findings suggest that dual-task effects in cerebellar patients are at least partially caused by a common involvement of posterolateral cerebellar regions in working memory and complex motor tasks.

journal_name

J Neurophysiol

authors

Ilg W,Christensen A,Mueller OM,Goericke SL,Giese MA,Timmann D

doi

10.1152/jn.00062.2013

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2013-11-01 00:00:00

pages

2337-49

issue

10

eissn

0022-3077

issn

1522-1598

pii

jn.00062.2013

journal_volume

110

pub_type

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