NEUROPSYCHOLOGY, vol.34, no.5, pp.511-523, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
Objective: Cerebellum is traditionally associated with motor functions, but recently its functions were broadened to include cognitive and affective functions as well. The impairment of these nonmotor functions was subsumed under the term cerebellar cognitive-affective syndrome (CCAS). Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are a family of hereditary degeneration, which is associated with progressive atrophy of the cerebellum. This study aimed to examine the cerebellar contribution to nonmotor implicit learning, which is the ability to acquire visual contextual information via repeated spatial configurations from the environment without conscious awareness in patients with SCA. Method: Twenty patients with SCA and matched healthy controls performed implicit contextual learning task that is a nonmotor. implicit, visual learning task consisting displays of a target (letter 1) and a number of distractors (letter L). Results: We found implicit contextual learning impairment vis-a-vis spared visuomotor skill learning in SCA. Moreover, this impairment did not correlate with any other measure, including demographics. clinical measures. and neuropsychological measures. Conclusion: These findings broaden the role of cerebellum in nonmotor. implicit, spatial learning processes.