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Neurosurg Clin N Am. 1997 Jul;8(3):383-92.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging. Language mapping.

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


This article discusses the use of functional magnetic resonance (fMR) imaging to localize language. Suggestions are made for ensuring visualization of language areas by selection of effective activation tasks. It is argued that the superior temporal gyrus responses evoked by listening to speech represent auditory, rather than language, processing. fMR imaging studies using word generation and semantic decision tasks are reviewed in detail. These data indicate that fMR imaging is capable of mapping language areas in the brain, although results have been variable. fMR imaging language results obtained using a semantic decision task correspond closely to language laterality measures determined with the Wada test.

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