Date of Award

3-27-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

Todd Constable

Abstract

For several decades, the Wada test has remained the gold standard for determining language lateralization in the presurgical evaluation of epilepsy. Because of the relative invasiveness of the test, however, alternatives involving fMRI are being explored. Critical to these studies is the development of an appropriate task that will activate cortical areas necessary for language processing in subjects. Here we report an fMRI study involving two tasks: a semantic associate task, and a word generation task, performed in both epilepsy patients and control subjects. The semantic associate task, first described in detail by McDermott et al, promises to be a robust task for determining language lateralization. We modified this task as previously described to include a recordable response, and compared it with the results of the word generation task.

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