Optimizing estimation of hemispheric dominance for language using magnetic source imaging


The efficacy of magnetoencephalography (MEG) as an alternative to invasive methods for investigating the cortical representation of language has been explored in several studies. Recently, studies comparing MEG to the gold standard Wada procedure have found inconsistent and often less-than accurate estimates of laterality across various MEG studies. Here we attempted to address this issue among normal right-handed adults (N = 12) by supplementing a well-established MEG protocol involving word recognition and the single dipole method with a sentence comprehension task and a beamformer approach localizing neural oscillations. Beamformer analysis of word recognition and sentence comprehension tasks revealed a desynchronization in the 10–18 Hz range, localized to the temporo-parietal cortices. Inspection of individual profiles of localized desynchronization (10–18 Hz) revealed left hemispheric dominance in 91.7% and 83.3% of individuals during the word recognition and sentence comprehension tasks, respectively. In contrast, single dipole analysis yielded lower estimates, such that activity in temporal language regions was left-lateralized in 66.7% and 58.3% of individuals during word recognition and sentence comprehension, respectively. The results obtained from the word recognition task and localization of oscillatory activity using a beamformer appear to be in line with general estimates of left hemispheric dominance for language in normal right-handed individuals. Furthermore, the current findings support the growing notion that changes in neural oscillations underlie critical components of linguistic processing.


Communication Sciences and Disorders

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Brain Research



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Copyright © 2011, Elsevier