Ever since I started Myomancy, I’ve been banging on about the cerebellum as the cause of dyslexia. Quite reasonably, many people asked why the cerebellum, an area of the brain linked that controls muscles, should have anything to do with dyslexia but I couldn’t give them a good answer.
Now I can, thanks to research found by BrainBlog
The paper looks at how the cerebellum is involved in speech and is based on clinical observations and fMRI data. Here is part of the abstract (emphasis added).
Recent functional imaging data point at a contribution of the right cerebellar hemisphere, concomitant with language-dominant dorsolateral and medial frontal areas, to the temporal organization of a prearticulatory verbal code (‘inner speech’), in terms of the sequencing of syllable strings at a speaker’s habitual speech rate. Besides motor control, this network also appears to be engaged in executive functions, e.g., subvocal rehearsal mechanisms of verbal working memory, and seems to be recruited during distinct speech perception tasks. Taken together, thus, a prearticulatory verbal code bound to reciprocal right cerebellar/left frontal interactions might represent a common platform for a variety of cerebellar engagements in cognitive functions. The distinct computational operation provided by cerebellar structures within this framework appears to be the concatenation of syllable strings into coarticulated sequences.
Translated, this mean that the cerebellum and speech / language areas of the brain are tightly connected in a cross lateral way. e.g. right side of the cerebellum links to left frontal lobe. This connection effects many aspects of speech and also the ability to decode what is being said by others.
Anyone who has a problem with this connection will have problems pronouncing words and differentiating between different but similar phonemes. e.g. ph / th / v / f. This is exactly the sort of problem many dyslexics have. The research didn’t look into how the cerebellum effects spelling but learning to speak and hear different phoneme is vital to learning to spell (hence the whole phonics movement).
This is only small step to proving how cerebellum exercise programs such as Dore tackle dyslexia but it is an important step. It clearly links the cerebellum to how we use and understand the sounds that make up our language.
- The Cerebellum. Does Size Matter?
- The Cause of Dyslexia
- The Cerebellum as the Cause of Dyslexia
- Cerebellum More Than Just a Motor
- The Cerebellum and ADHD