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Cortical mapping of receptive language processing in children using navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Journal article
Authors Gunilla Rejnö-Habte Selassie
Göran Pegenius
Tomas Karlsson
Gerd Viggedal
Tove Hallböök
Mikael Elam
Published in Epilepsy & behavior : E&B
Volume 103
Issue A
ISSN 1525-5069
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Language en
Subject categories Pediatrics


We used a stepwise process to develop a new paradigm for preoperative cortical mapping of receptive language in children, using temporary functional blocking with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The method combines short sentences with a lexical decision task in which children are asked to point at a picture that fits a short sentence delivered aurally. This was first tested with 24 healthy children aged 4-16 years. Next, 75 sentences and 25 slides were presented to five healthy children in a clinical setting without TMS. Responses were registered on a separate computer, and facial expressions and hand movements were filmed for later offline review. Technical adjustments were made to combine these elements with the existing TMS equipment. The audio-recorded sentences were presented before the visual stimuli. Sentence lists were constructed to avoid similar stimuli in a row. Two different baseline lists were used before the TMS registration; the second baseline resulted in faster responses and was chosen as the reference for possible response delays induced by TMS. Protocols for offline reviews were constructed. No response, incorrect response, self-correction, delayed response, and perseveration were considered clear stimulation effects, while poor attention, discomfort, and other events were regarded as unclear. Finally, three children (6:2, 14:0, 14:10 years) with epilepsy and expected to undergo neurosurgery were assessed using TMS (left hemisphere in one; both hemispheres in the other two). In the two assessed bilaterally, TMS effects indicated bilateral language processing. Delayed response was the most common error. This is a first attempt to develop a new TMS paradigm for receptive language mapping, and further evaluation is suggested.

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