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Cerebellum, language, and cognition in autism and specific language impairment.

We performed cerebellum segmentation and parcellation on magnetic resonance images from right-handed boys, aged 6-13 years, including 22 boys with autism [16 with language impairment (ALI)], 9 boys with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), and 11 normal controls. Language-impaired groups had reversed asymmetry relative to unimpaired groups in posterior-lateral cerebellar lobule VIIIA (right side larger in unimpaired groups, left side larger in ALI and SLI), contralateral to previous findings in inferior frontal cortex language areas. Lobule VIIA Crus I was smaller in SLI than in ALI. Vermis volume, particularly anterior I-V, was decreased in language-impaired groups. Language performance test scores correlated with lobule VIIIA asymmetry and with anterior vermis volume. These findings suggest ALI and SLI subjects show abnormalities in neurodevelopment of fronto-corticocerebellar circuits that manage motor control and the processing of language, cognition, working memory, and attention.

Pubmed ID: 19924522


  • Hodge SM
  • Makris N
  • Kennedy DN
  • Caviness VS
  • Howard J
  • McGrath L
  • Steele S
  • Frazier JA
  • Tager-Flusberg H
  • Harris GJ


Journal of autism and developmental disorders

Publication Data

March 22, 2010

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: K08 MH001573
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: K08 MH01573
  • Agency: NIDCD NIH HHS, Id: P01 DC003610
  • Agency: NIDCD NIH HHS, Id: U19 DC003610
  • Agency: NIDCD NIH HHS, Id: U19/PO1 DC 03610

Mesh Terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Autistic Disorder
  • Cerebellar Cortex
  • Cerebellum
  • Child
  • Cognition
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Language Disorders
  • Language Tests
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance