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Neuropsychologia. 2003;41(11):1452-60.

Does the cerebellum contribute to specific aspects of attention?

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Department of Neurosurgery, University of Kiel, Universit├Ątsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Klinik f├╝r Neurochirurgie in Kiel, Weimarer Strasse 8, D-24106 Kiel, Germany.


We present data on attentional and neuropsychological functions of 16 patients with focal cerebellar lesions (13 tumours, 3 haematomas) compared to normative test data, and to 11 control subjects matched for age, gender, and years of education. Patients showed distinct deficits in qualitative aspects of a divided attention task, and in a working memory task. Performance in selective attention was unimpaired. The results support the concept that the cerebellum plays a role not only in motor, but also in higher cognitive functions. They are discussed on the basis of the idea that prediction and preparation are fundamental functions of the cerebellum. Therefore, the results confirm the idea that cerebellar lesions lead to reduced performance in specific attention tasks.

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