Cortical stimulation mapping of language cortex by using a verb generation task: effects of learning and comparison to mapping based on object naming

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; and Department of Neurological Surgery, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
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Object. Cortical stimulation mapping has traditionally relied on disruption of object naming to define essential language areas. In this study, the authors reviewed the use of a different language task, verb generation, in mapping language. This task has greater use in brain imaging studies and may be used to test aspects of language different from those of object naming.

Methods. In 14 patients, cortical stimulation mapping performed using a verb generation task provided a map of language areas in the frontal and temporoparietal cortices. These verb generation maps often overlapped object naming ones and, in many patients, different areas of cortex were found to be involved in the two functions. In three patients, stimulation mapping was performed during the initial performance of the verb generation task and also during learned performance of the task. Parallel to findings of published neuroimaging studies, a larger area of stimulated cortex led to disruption of verb generation in response to stimulation during novel task performance than during learned performance.

Conclusions. Results of cortical stimulation mapping closely resemble those of functional neuroimaging when both implement the verb generation task. The precise map of the temporoparietal language cortex depends on the task used for mapping.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Jeffrey G. Ojemann, M.D., Department of Neurological Surgery, Box 8057, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110. email: OjemannJ@nsurg.wustl.edu.
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