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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

December 2007, Vol. 19, No. 12, Pages 1974-1982
(doi: 10.1162/jocn.2007.19.12.1974)
© 2007 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Cerebellum Mediates Conflict Resolution
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Regions within the frontal and parietal cortex have been implicated as important neural correlates for cognitive control during conflict resolution. Despite the extensive reciprocal connectivity between the cerebellum and these putatively critical cortical areas, a role for the cerebellum in conflict resolution has never been identified. We used a task-switching paradigm that separates processes related to task-set switching and the management of response conflict independent of motor processing. Eleven patients with chronic, focal lesions to the cerebellum and 11 healthy controls were compared. Patients were slower and less accurate in conditions involving conflict resolution. In the absence of response conflict, however, tasks-witching abilities were not impaired in our patients. The cerebellum may play an important role in coordinating with other areas of cortex to modulate active response states. These results are the first demonstration of impaired conflict resolution following cerebellar lesions in the presence of an intact prefrontal cortex.