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Neurology. 1996 Apr;46(4):978-84.

Determination of language dominance using functional MRI: a comparison with the Wada test.

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Department of Neurology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 53226, USA.


We performed functional MRI (FMRI) in 22 consecutive epilepsy patients undergoing intracarotid amobarbital (Wada) testing and compared language lateralization measures obtained with the two procedures. FMRI used a single-word semantic decision task previously shown to activate lateralized language areas in normal adults. Correlation between the two tests was highly significant (r = 0.96; 95% CIs 0.90 to 0.98; p < 0.0001). These results validate the FMRI technique and suggest that "active" areas observed with this semantic processing task correspond to those underlying hemispheric dominance for language. This strong correlation observed supports the view that language lateralization is a continuous rather than a dichotomous variable. In addition to lateralization information, FMRI consistently demonstrated focal regions of activity in lateral frontal and temporo-parieto-occipital cortex. These functional maps may be helpful in defining the boundaries of surgical excisions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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