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Cereb Cortex. 2015 Oct;25(10):3802-17. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhu262. Epub 2014 Dec 9.

Direct Exploration of the Role of the Ventral Anterior Temporal Lobe in Semantic Memory: Cortical Stimulation and Local Field Potential Evidence From Subdural Grid Electrodes.

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Department of Neurology.
Department of Epilepsy, Movement Disorders and Physiology.
Neuroscience and Aphasia Research Unit (NARU), School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
Department of Neurosurgery.
Neuroscience and Aphasia Research Unit (NARU), School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK Department of Cognitive Psychology in Education, Graduate School of Education, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.
Human Brain Research Center, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan.


Semantic memory is a crucial higher cortical function that codes the meaning of objects and words, and when impaired after neurological damage, patients are left with significant disability. Investigations of semantic dementia have implicated the anterior temporal lobe (ATL) region, in general, as crucial for multimodal semantic memory. The potentially crucial role of the ventral ATL subregion has been emphasized by recent functional neuroimaging studies, but the necessity of this precise area has not been selectively tested. The implantation of subdural electrode grids over this subregion, for the presurgical assessment of patients with partial epilepsy or brain tumor, offers the dual yet rare opportunities to record cortical local field potentials while participants complete semantic tasks and to stimulate the functionally identified regions in the same participants to evaluate the necessity of these areas in semantic processing. Across 6 patients, and utilizing a variety of semantic assessments, we evaluated and confirmed that the anterior fusiform/inferior temporal gyrus is crucial in multimodal, receptive, and expressive, semantic processing.


anterior fusiform; basal temporal language area; semantic memory; subdural electrodes; ventral anterior temporal lobe

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