Visual naming performance after ATL resection: Impact of atypical language dominance

S. Kovac*, G. Möddel, J. Reinholz, A. V. Alexopoulos, T. Syed, M. Z. Koubeissi, S. U. Schuele, T. Lineweaver, R. M. Busch, T. Loddenkemper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: To characterize the interaction between language dominance and lateralization of the epileptic focus for pre- and postoperative Boston Naming Test (BNT) performance in patients undergoing anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL). Methods: Analysis of pre- and postoperative BNT scores depending on lateralization of language as measured by the intracarotid amobarbital procedure (IAP) versus lateralization of the temporal lobe epileptic focus. Results: Changes between pre- and postoperative BNT performance depended on epilepsy lateralization (effect size=0.189) with significant decrease in patients undergoing left ATL. Subgroup analysis in these showed that postoperative decline in BNT scores was significant in patients with atypical (n=14; p<0.05), but did not reach statistical significance in patients with left language dominance (n=36; p=0.09). Chi-square test revealed a trend of higher proportions of patients experiencing significant postsurgical deterioration in naming performance in atypical (57.1%) as compared to left language dominance (30.6%; p=0.082). Surgical failure was also associated with greater decline of BNT scores and was more common in atypical than in left language dominant patients (χ2 (1, n=98)=4.62, p=0.032). Age of onset, duration of epilepsy, and seizure frequency had no impact on changes in BNT performance. Conclusion: Atypical language dominance is a predictor of change in visual naming performance after left ATL and may also impact postsurgical seizure control. This should be considered when counseling surgical candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2221-2225
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Boston Naming Test
  • Confrontation naming
  • Language lateralization
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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