Functional MRI Correlates of Early Language Recovery after Left Hemispherectomy

Dana F. Boatman, Ph.D., CCC-A

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore , MD

Grant Program:

David Mahoney Neuroimaging Program

Funded in:

June 2000, for 3 years

Funding Amount:


Investigator Biographies

Dana F. Boatman, Ph.D., CCC-A

Associate Professor of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine



Early recovery of auditory language functions after left hemispherectomy is associated with functional reorganization of right auditory cortex.

The overall goal of this project is to define right hemisphere mechanisms responsible for early recovery of auditory language functions after left hemispherectomy in children and adolescents. Specifically, we seek to identify systematic changes (increases) in fMRI activation of right auditory cortices associated with the early recovery of speech perception abilities after left hemispherectomy.

We are using a repeated-measures within subject design to prospectively study children (ages 6-18 years) undergoing hemispherectomy for treatment of Rasmussen's syndrome, a late-onset, progressive, unilateral, inflammatory, neurological disorder associated with chronic seizures. Patients are tested before and after (3, 6, & 12 months) surgery. Using a regression-based model, within subject comparisons, researchers will identify increased right hemisphere fMRI activation correlated with performance on two auditory language tasks (syllable-word discrimination and word comprehension.).

Selected Publications

Boatman D., Alidoost M., Bergey G., Gordon B., Crone N., Hart J., and Lenz F. Right hemisphere language dominance in a right-handed patient with late-onset seizures.  Epilepsy Behav. 2000 Aug;1(4):281-286 .

Boatman D. (2001). Speech perception after right hemispherectomy. GOVOR – International Journal of Phonetics, 17 (2): 129-140.

Boatman D., Eberwein C.A., Miglioretti D., Alidoost M., and Reich S.G. (2001). Evaluation of bedside tests of hearing. Neurology (Suppl 3): 30.

Boatman D. (2001). Neurobiological bases of auditory speech processing. in A. Hillis (Ed) Handbook of Language Disorders.