The impairment of phonological short-term memory has been reported in adults with cerebellar lesions. At the same time, a role of the cerebellum in speech production has been hypothesized. Cerebellar malformations have been related to developmental problems and language acquisition in children. We describe a 5-year-old male child with cerebellar vermis hypoplasia who presented a severe linguistic deficit. On language testing, verbal production was almost absent, while comprehension was partially spared. Digit span was markedly reduced. An extensive examination of phonological short-term memory confirmed a deficit at this level. Positron Emission Tomography revealed hypometabolism both in the cerebellum and the supratentorial areas involved in language function. This finding supports the hypothesis that the cerebellum is included in a cerebro-cerebellar network, that underlies the phonological short-term memory, whose integrity is necessary for language acquisition.
- Language acquisition
- Phonological short-term memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology