Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neurology. 2002 Jul 23;59(2):256-65.

Language dominance in partial epilepsy patients identified with an fMRI reading task.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurosciences, Children's National Medical Center, George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA. gaillardw@ninds.nih.gov



fMRI language tasks readily identify frontal language areas; temporal activation has been less consistent. No studies have compared clinical visual judgment to quantitative region of interest (ROI) analysis.


To identify temporal language areas in patients with partial epilepsy using a reading paradigm with clinical and ROI interpretation.


Thirty patients with temporal lobe epilepsy, aged 8 to 56 years, had 1.5-T fMRI. Patients silently named an object described by a sentence compared to a visual control. Data were analyzed with ROI analysis from t-maps. Regional asymmetry indices (AI) were calculated ([L-R]/[L+R]) and language dominance defined as >0.20. t-Maps were visually rated by three readers at three t thresholds. Twenty-one patients had intracarotid amobarbital test (IAT).


The fMRI reading task provided evidence of language lateralization in 27 of 30 patients with ROI analysis. Twenty-five were left dominant, two right, one bilateral, and two were nondiagnostic; IAT and fMRI agreed in most patients, three had partial agreement, none overtly disagreed. Interrater agreement ranged between 0.77 to 0.82 (Cramer V; p < 0.0001); agreement between visual and ROI reading with IAT was 0.71 to 0.77 (Cramer V; p < 0.0001). Viewing data at lower thresholds added interpretation to 12 patients on visual analysis and 8 with ROI analysis.


An fMRI reading paradigm can identify language dominance in frontal and temporal areas. Clinical visual interpretation is comparable to quantitative ROI analysis.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk