Temporal and topographical characterization of language cortices using intraoperative optical intrinsic signals

Andrew F. Cannestra, Susan Y. Bookheimer, Nader Pouratian, Alyssa O'Farrell, Nancy Sicotte, Neil A. Martin, Donald Becker, Gregory Rubino, Arthur W. Toga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


We used intraoperative optical imaging of intrinsic signals (iOIS) and electrocortical stimulation mapping (ESM) to compare functionally active brain regions in 10 awake patients undergoing neurosurgical resection. Patients performed two to four tasks, including visual and auditory naming, word discrimination, and/or orofacial movements. All iOIS maps included areas identified by ESM mapping. However, iOIS also revealed topographical specificity dependent on language task. In Broca's area, naming paradigms activated both anterior and posterior inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), while the word discrimination paradigm activated only posterior IFG. In Wernicke's area, object naming produced activations localizing over the inferior and anterior/posterior regions, while the word discrimination task activated superior and anterior cortices. These results may suggest more posterior phonological activation and more anterior semantic activations in Broca's area, and more anterior/superior phonological activation and more posterior/inferior semantic activations in Wernicke's area. Although similar response onset was observed in Broca's and Wernicke's areas, temporal differences were revealed during block paradigm (20-s) activations. In Broca's area, block paradigms yielded a boxcar temporal activation profile (in all tasks) that resembled response profiles observed in motor cortex (with orofacial movements). In contrast, activations in Wernicke's area responded with a more dynamic profile (including early and late peaks) which varied with paradigm performance. Wernicke's area profiles were very similar to response profiles observed in sensory and visual cortex. The differing temporal patterns may therefore reflect unique processing performed by receptive (Wernicke's) and productive (Broca's) language centers. This study is consistent with task-specific semantic and phonologic regions within Broca's and Wernicke's areas and also is the first report of response profile differences dependent on cortical region and language task. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-54
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Broca's area
  • Functional imaging
  • Human brain mapping
  • Neurosurgery
  • Wernicke's area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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