Localization of Cortical Function: New Information from Extraoperative Monitoring of Patients with Epilepsy

Hans Lüders, Ronald P. Lesser, Dudley S. Dinner, Harold H. Morris, Elaine Wyllie, Jaime Godoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Summary: Intraoperative cortical stimulation for evaluation of cortical function has been used extensively to define the extent of cortical excisions for surgical treatment of epilepsy. With chronic implantation of subdural electrodes, extraoperative cortical stimulation becomes possible, and these favorable testing conditions permit more precise mapping of the cortex. This assists the surgeon in planning details of the surgical removal and also provides additional data about the function of the human cortex. Four aspects in which detailed extraoperative studies have provided information complementing the pioneer studies of Foerster, Penfield, and others will be discussed here: (1) Frontal eye field: In the human, this is always an integral part of the motor strip (most probably located in Brodman's area 4 and/or 6) and elicits only conjugate eye movements to the contralateral side with a variable upward component. (2) Negative motor area: Stimulation of the inferior frontal gyrus immediately in front of the face area and of the supplementary motor area of the dominant and nondominant hemisphere produces “inhibition” of voluntary fine movements. (3) The movement related potentials (bereitschaftpotential, negative slope, and motor potential) are strictly localized to the portion of the sensorimotor strip where the movement is represented. Lower amplitude bereitschaftpotentials can also be detected in the homotopic ipsilateral sensorimotor cortex and in the supplementary motor cortex. (4) Three language areas can be distinguished by electrical stimulation: Broca's, Wernicke's, and the basal temporal language area. Electrical stimulation in all these areas produces a similar deficit, but Broca's area tends to overlap with the inferior frontal negative motor area. This may explain the predominant motor deficit of Broca's aphasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S56-S65
StatePublished - Aug 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Cortical excisions
  • Cortical stimulation
  • Evoked potentials
  • Eye fields
  • Neurosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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