Cerebellar induced differential polyglot aphasia: A neurolinguistic and fMRI study

P Mariën, K van Dun, J Van Dormael, D Vandenborre, S Keulen, M Manto, J Verhoeven, J Abutalebi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research has shown that linguistic functions in the bilingual brain are subserved by similar neural circuits as in monolinguals, but with extra-activity associated with cognitive and attentional control. Although a role for the right cerebellum in multilingual language processing has recently been acknowledged, a potential role of the left cerebellum remains largely unexplored. This paper reports the clinical and fMRI findings in a strongly right-handed (late) multilingual patient who developed differential polyglot aphasia, ataxic dysarthria and a selective decrease in executive function due to an ischemic stroke in the left cerebellum. fMRI revealed that lexical-semantic retrieval in the unaffected L1 was predominantly associated with activations in the left cortical areas (left prefrontal area and left postcentral gyrus), while naming in two affected non-native languages recruited a significantly larger bilateral functional network, including the cerebellum. It is hypothesized that the left cerebellar insult resulted in decreased right prefrontal hemisphere functioning due to a loss of cerebellar impulses through the cerebello-cerebral pathways. © 2017
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-28
Number of pages11
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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