The role of the basal ganglia and cerebellum in language processing

James R. Booth, Lydia Wood, Dong Lu, James C. Houk, Tali Bitan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The roles of the cerebellum and basal ganglia have typically been confined in the literature to motor planning and control. However, mounting evidence suggests that these structures are involved in more cognitive domains such as language processing. In the current study, we looked at effective connectivity (the influence that one brain region has on another) of the cerebellum and basal ganglia with regions thought to be involved in phonological processing, i.e. left inferior frontal gyrus and left lateral temporal cortex. We analyzed functional magnetic resonance imaging data (fMRI) obtained during a rhyming judgment task in adults using dynamic causal modeling (DCM). The results showed that the cerebellum has reciprocal connections with both left inferior frontal gyrus and left lateral temporal cortex, whereas the putamen has unidirectional connections into these two brain regions. Furthermore, the connections between cerebellum and these phonological processing areas were stronger than the connections between putamen and these areas. This pattern of results suggests that the putamen and cerebellum may have distinct roles in language processing. Based on research in the motor planning and control literature, we argue that the putamen engages in cortical initiation while the cerebellum amplifies and refines this signal to facilitate correct decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-144
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Volume1133
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Jan 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD042049) and by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (DC06149) to James R. Booth and by grants from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NS44383 and NS44837) to James C. Houk.

Keywords

  • Amplification
  • Basal ganglia
  • Cerebellum
  • Dynamic causal modeling
  • Effective connectivity
  • Initiation
  • Language
  • Phonological
  • Putamen
  • Refinement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology

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