TMS Over the Cerebellum Interferes with Short-term Memory of Visual Sequences

C Ferrari, Z Cattaneo, V Oldrati, L Casiraghi, F Castelli, E D'Angelo, T Vecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Growing evidence suggests that the cerebellum is not only involved in motor functions, but it significantly contributes to sensory and cognitive processing as well. In particular, it has been hypothesized that the cerebellum identifies recurrent serial events and recognizes their violations. Here we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to shed light on the role of the cerebellum in short-term memory of visual sequences. In two experiments, we found that TMS over the right cerebellar hemisphere impaired participants' ability to recognize the correct order of appearance of geometrical stimuli varying in shape and/or size. In turn, cerebellar TMS did not affect recognition of highly familiar short sequences of letters or numbers. Overall, our data suggest that the cerebellum is involved in memorizing the order in which (concatenated) stimuli appear, this process being important for sequence learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6722
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 30 2018

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