Motor and non-motor sequence learning in children and adolescents with cerebellar damage Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Cerebellar involvement in motor and non-motor sequence learning was examined with serial reaction time tasks (SRT). Our sample consisted of 8 children and adolescents who had undergone surgical removal of a benign posterior fossa tumor (PFT) during childhood. None of them had undergone chemotherapy or cranial radiation therapy (CRT). Ages ranged from 1–11 years at surgery and 9–17 years at testing. The children were tested not earlier than 2.5 years after surgery (M = 5.9 years), enabling brain plasticity and recovery of functions. Their performance was compared with a matched control sample. The PFT group was not impaired in the implicit learning of sequences, as reflected in their performance in blocks with a repeated sequence, both before and after a random block. However, in the perceptual task, their performance deteriorated more than that of the control group when a random block was introduced, suggesting that it was more difficult for the patients to respond flexibly or change their response set when encountering changing task demands. These results are in line with another study by our group on task switching with the same patients. (JINS, 2005, 11, 482–487.)

publication date

  • January 1, 2005