Cerebral language lateralization: Evidence from intracarotid amobarbital testing

David W. Loring, Kimford J. Meador, Gregory P. Lee, Anthony M. Murro, Joseph R. Smith, Herman F. Flanigin, Brian B. Gallagher, Don W. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Cerebral language lateralization was investigated in 103 patients undergoing intracarotid amobarbital testing as part of their diagnostic work-up for epilepsy surgery. Inclusion criteria included adequate bilateral intracarotid amobarbital studies and no radiologic lesion in areas other than the temporal lobe. Language was evaluated with respect to strict presence or absence of language representation, in which a patient was considered to have bilateral language despite potentially having asymmetric language representation, and with respect to forced relative hemispheric dominance, in which a single side could be considered dominant despite bilateral language representation. Seventy-nine patients displayed exclusive left hemisphere language representation, two patients showed exclusive right hemisphere language representation, and 22 patients had language represented in each hemisphere. In the 22 patients with bilateral language, an asymmetry was present in 17 cases (13 L > R, 4 R > L). These data indicate that language restricted only to the right hemisphere is rare, and that in the absence of purely left hemisphere language, most patients exhibit bilateral representation. Previously reported incidence of exclusive right hemisphere language may be an artifact of dichotomizing a continuous variable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-838
Number of pages8
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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