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Localization of functional regions of human mesial cortex by somatosensory evoked potential recording and by cortical stimulation.

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Neuropsychology Laboratory 116B1, Veterans Administration Medical Center, West Haven, CT 06516, USA.


We describe methods of localizing functional regions of the mesial wall, based on 47 patients studied intraoperatively or following chronic implantation of subdural electrodes. Somatosensory evoked potentials were recorded to stimulation of posterior tibial, dorsal pudendal, median, and trigeminal nerves. Bipolar cortical stimulation was performed, and in 4 cases movement-related potentials were recorded. The cingulate and marginal sulci formed the inferior and posterior borders of the sensorimotor areas and the supplementary motor area (SMA). The foot sensory area occupied the posterior paracentral lobule, while the genitalia were represented anterior to the foot sensory area, near the cingulate sulcus. The foot motor area was interior and superior to the sensory areas, but there was overlap in these representations. There was a rough somatotopic organization within the SMA, with the face represented anterior to the hand. However, there was little evidence of the "pre-SMA" region described in monkeys. Complex movements involving more than one extremity were elicited by stimulation of much of the SMA. The region comprising the supplementary sensory area was not clearly identified, but may involve much of the precuneus. Movement-related potentials did not provide additional localizing information, although in some recordings readiness potentials were recorded from the SMA that appeared to be locally generated.

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