Limbic ERPs predict verbal memory after left-sided hippocampectomy

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Abstract

SURGICAL removal of the dominant medial temporal lobe regions runs a considerable risk of verbal memory deficits which may be compensated for postoperatively by corresponding regions in the non-dominant medial temporal lobe. We examined this possibility by recording event-related potentials (ERPs) to words from the medial temporal lobes of patients with left-sided temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) undergoing presurgical evaluation. N400 amplitudes in the right anterior medial temporal lobe predicted the postoperative verbal recall performance of individual patients with surprising accuracy, indicating that intracranial recordings can be used to quantify the functional capacities of the right hemisphere that can compensate for the verbal memory deficits after loss of medial temporal lobe structures in the left hemisphere.

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