Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging for language preoperative planning

Paulo Branco, Daniela Seixas, Sabine Deprez, Silvia Kovacs, Ronald Peeters, São L. Castro*, Stefan Sunaert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a well-known non-invasive technique for the study of brain function. One of its most common clinical applications is preoperative language mapping, essential for the preservation of function in neurosurgical patients. Typically, fMRI is used to track task-related activity, but poor task performance and movement artifacts can be critical limitations in clinical settings. Recent advances in resting-state protocols open new possibilities for pre-surgical mapping of language potentially overcoming these limitations. To test the feasibility of using resting-state fMRI instead of conventional active task-based protocols, we compared results from fifteen patients with brain lesions while performing a verb-to-noun generation task and while at rest. Task-activity was measured using a general linear model analysis and independent component analysis (ICA). Resting-state networks were extracted using ICA and further classified in two ways: manually by an expert and by using an automated template matching procedure. The results revealed that the automated classification procedure correctly identified language networks as compared to the expert manual classification. We found a good overlay between task-related activity and resting-state language maps, particularly within the language regions of interest. Furthermore, resting-state language maps were as sensitive as task-related maps, and had higher specificity. Our findings suggest that resting-state protocols may be suitable to map language networks in a quick and clinically efficient way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Issue numberFEB2016
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • FMRI language mapping
  • Functional MRI
  • Independent component analysis
  • Neurosurgery
  • Resting-state fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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