Interhemispheric differences of spectral power in expressive language: A MEG study with clinical applications

Alison Eleanor Fisher, Paul Lawrence Furlong, Stefano Seri, Peyman Adjamian, Caroline Witton, Torsten Baldeweg, Sunny Phillips, Richard Walsh, Judith M. Houghton, Ngoc Jade Thai

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In the last decade we have seen an exponential growth of functional imaging studies investigating multiple aspects of language processing. These studies have sparked an interest in applying some of the paradigms to various clinically relevant questions, such as the identification of the cortical regions mediating language function in surgical candidates for refractory epilepsy. Here we present data from a group of adult control participants in order to investigate the potential of using frequency specific spectral power changes in MEG activation patterns to establish lateralisation of language function using expressive language tasks. In addition, we report on a paediatric patient whose language function was assessed before and after a left hemisphere amygdalo-hippocampectomy. Our verb generation task produced left hemisphere decreases in beta-band power accompanied by right hemisphere increases in low beta-band power in the majority of the control group, a previously unreported phenomenon. This pattern of spectral power was also found in the patient's post-surgery data, though not her pre-surgery data. Comparison of pre and post-operative results also provided some evidence of reorganisation in language related cortex both inter- and intra-hemispherically following surgery. The differences were not limited to changes in localisation of language specific cortex but also changes in the spectral and temporal profile of frontal brain regions during verb generation. While further investigation is required to establish concordance with invasive measures, our data suggest that the methods described may serve as a reliable lateralisation marker for clinical assessment. Furthermore, our findings highlight the potential utility of MEG for the investigation of cortical language functioning in both healthy development and pathology. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)111-122
    Number of pages11
    JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - May 2008


    • Epilepsy
    • Language lateralisation
    • MEG
    • Spectral power
    • Verb generation


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