The association between eye movements and cerebellar activation in a verbal working memory task

Jutta Peterburs, Dominic T. Cheng, John Desmond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It has been argued that cerebellar activations during cognitive tasks may masquerade as cognition, while actually reflecting processes related to movement planning or motor learning. The present study investigated whether the cerebellar load effect for verbal working memory, that is, increased activations in lobule VI/Crus I and lobule VIIB/VIIIA, is related to eye movements and oculomotor processing. Fifteen participants performed an fMRI-based Sternberg verbal working memory task. Oculomotor and cognitive task demands were manipulated by using closely and widely spaced stimuli, and high and low cognitive load. Trial-based quantitative eye movement parameters were obtained from concurrent eye tracking. Conventional MRI analysis replicated the cerebellar load effect in lobules VI and VIIB/VIIIa. With quantitative eye movement parameters as regressors, analysis yielded very similar activation patterns. While load effect and eye regressor generally recruited spatially distinct neocortical and cerebellar regions, conjunction analysis showed that a small subset of prefrontal areas implicated in the load effect also responded to the eye regressor. The present results indicate that cognitive load-dependent activations in lateral superior and posteroinferior cerebellar regions in the Sternberg task are independent of eye movements occurring during stimulus encoding. This is inconsistent with the notion that cognitive load-dependent cerebellar activations merely reflect oculomotor processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3802-3813
Number of pages12
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume26
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Fingerprint

Eye Movements
Short-Term Memory
Cognition
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Learning

Keywords

  • cerebellum
  • cognition
  • eye tracking
  • fMRI
  • working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

The association between eye movements and cerebellar activation in a verbal working memory task. / Peterburs, Jutta; Cheng, Dominic T.; Desmond, John.

In: Cerebral Cortex, Vol. 26, No. 9, 01.09.2016, p. 3802-3813.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{349ad8c066654233b05c32a9ba879b70,
title = "The association between eye movements and cerebellar activation in a verbal working memory task",
abstract = "It has been argued that cerebellar activations during cognitive tasks may masquerade as cognition, while actually reflecting processes related to movement planning or motor learning. The present study investigated whether the cerebellar load effect for verbal working memory, that is, increased activations in lobule VI/Crus I and lobule VIIB/VIIIA, is related to eye movements and oculomotor processing. Fifteen participants performed an fMRI-based Sternberg verbal working memory task. Oculomotor and cognitive task demands were manipulated by using closely and widely spaced stimuli, and high and low cognitive load. Trial-based quantitative eye movement parameters were obtained from concurrent eye tracking. Conventional MRI analysis replicated the cerebellar load effect in lobules VI and VIIB/VIIIa. With quantitative eye movement parameters as regressors, analysis yielded very similar activation patterns. While load effect and eye regressor generally recruited spatially distinct neocortical and cerebellar regions, conjunction analysis showed that a small subset of prefrontal areas implicated in the load effect also responded to the eye regressor. The present results indicate that cognitive load-dependent activations in lateral superior and posteroinferior cerebellar regions in the Sternberg task are independent of eye movements occurring during stimulus encoding. This is inconsistent with the notion that cognitive load-dependent cerebellar activations merely reflect oculomotor processing.",
keywords = "cerebellum, cognition, eye tracking, fMRI, working memory",
author = "Jutta Peterburs and Cheng, {Dominic T.} and John Desmond",
year = "2016",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1093/cercor/bhv187",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "26",
pages = "3802--3813",
journal = "Cerebral Cortex",
issn = "1047-3211",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The association between eye movements and cerebellar activation in a verbal working memory task

AU - Peterburs, Jutta

AU - Cheng, Dominic T.

AU - Desmond, John

PY - 2016/9/1

Y1 - 2016/9/1

N2 - It has been argued that cerebellar activations during cognitive tasks may masquerade as cognition, while actually reflecting processes related to movement planning or motor learning. The present study investigated whether the cerebellar load effect for verbal working memory, that is, increased activations in lobule VI/Crus I and lobule VIIB/VIIIA, is related to eye movements and oculomotor processing. Fifteen participants performed an fMRI-based Sternberg verbal working memory task. Oculomotor and cognitive task demands were manipulated by using closely and widely spaced stimuli, and high and low cognitive load. Trial-based quantitative eye movement parameters were obtained from concurrent eye tracking. Conventional MRI analysis replicated the cerebellar load effect in lobules VI and VIIB/VIIIa. With quantitative eye movement parameters as regressors, analysis yielded very similar activation patterns. While load effect and eye regressor generally recruited spatially distinct neocortical and cerebellar regions, conjunction analysis showed that a small subset of prefrontal areas implicated in the load effect also responded to the eye regressor. The present results indicate that cognitive load-dependent activations in lateral superior and posteroinferior cerebellar regions in the Sternberg task are independent of eye movements occurring during stimulus encoding. This is inconsistent with the notion that cognitive load-dependent cerebellar activations merely reflect oculomotor processing.

AB - It has been argued that cerebellar activations during cognitive tasks may masquerade as cognition, while actually reflecting processes related to movement planning or motor learning. The present study investigated whether the cerebellar load effect for verbal working memory, that is, increased activations in lobule VI/Crus I and lobule VIIB/VIIIA, is related to eye movements and oculomotor processing. Fifteen participants performed an fMRI-based Sternberg verbal working memory task. Oculomotor and cognitive task demands were manipulated by using closely and widely spaced stimuli, and high and low cognitive load. Trial-based quantitative eye movement parameters were obtained from concurrent eye tracking. Conventional MRI analysis replicated the cerebellar load effect in lobules VI and VIIB/VIIIa. With quantitative eye movement parameters as regressors, analysis yielded very similar activation patterns. While load effect and eye regressor generally recruited spatially distinct neocortical and cerebellar regions, conjunction analysis showed that a small subset of prefrontal areas implicated in the load effect also responded to the eye regressor. The present results indicate that cognitive load-dependent activations in lateral superior and posteroinferior cerebellar regions in the Sternberg task are independent of eye movements occurring during stimulus encoding. This is inconsistent with the notion that cognitive load-dependent cerebellar activations merely reflect oculomotor processing.

KW - cerebellum

KW - cognition

KW - eye tracking

KW - fMRI

KW - working memory

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84977949421&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84977949421&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/cercor/bhv187

DO - 10.1093/cercor/bhv187

M3 - Article

C2 - 26286918

AN - SCOPUS:84977949421

VL - 26

SP - 3802

EP - 3813

JO - Cerebral Cortex

JF - Cerebral Cortex

SN - 1047-3211

IS - 9

ER -