The functional neuroimaging evidence of cerebellar involvement in the simple cognitive task
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Cerebellar involvement in cognitive functions has been revealed in numerous anatomical, clinical and neuroimaging studies and several hypotheses about potential the role of the cerebellum in higher level brain function have been established. The aim of this study was to show involvement of the cerebellum in simple cognitive tasks. For this matter, we contrasted two tasks from the same semantic domain with specific cognitive content and level of practice: counting forward and counting backward. Twelve volunteers participated in this fMRI study and they were asked to perform both tasks within the same number range (1 to 30 and vice versa). Results showed greater activation in the right cerebellum for the task of counting forward than for counting backward, while for counting backward greater activation was found in prefrontal cortex, supplementary motor area, and anterior cingulate of both hemispheres. Our results correlate with already established hypotheses about cerebellar role in precise and smooth control, not only in well-trained motor but in well trained cognitive tasks as well.