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Cereb Cortex. 2012 Apr;22(4):918-25. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhr163. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

Connectivity between perisylvian and bilateral basal temporal cortices.

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Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


Language processing requires the orchestrated action of different neuronal populations, and some studies suggest that the role of the basal temporal (BT) cortex in language processing is bilaterally distributed. Our aim was to demonstrate connectivity between perisylvian cortex and both BT areas. We recorded corticocortical evoked potentials (CCEPs) in 8 patients with subdural electrodes implanted for surgical evaluation of intractable epilepsy. Four patients had subdural grids over dominant perisylvian and BT areas, and 4 had electrode strips over both BT areas and left posterior superior temporal gyrus (LPSTG). After electrocortical mapping, patients with grids had 1-Hz stimulation of language areas. Patients with strips did not undergo mapping but had 1-Hz stimulation of the LPSTG. Posterior language area stimulation elicited CCEPs in ipsilateral BT cortex in 3/4 patients with left hemispheric grids. CCEPs were recorded in bilateral BT cortices in 3/4 patients with strips upon stimulation of the LPSTG, and in the LPSTG in the fourth patient upon stimulation of either BT area. This is the first in vivo demonstration of connectivity between LPSTG and both BT cortices. The role of BT cortex in language processing may be bilaterally distributed and related to linking visual information with phonological representations stored in the LPSTG.

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