A review of passive brain mapping techniques in neurological surgery

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5 Scopus citations


Brain mapping is a quintessential part of neurosurgical practice. Accordingly, much of our understanding of the brain’s functional organization, and in particular the motor homunculus, is largely attributable to the clinical investigations of past neurosurgeons. Traditionally mapping was invasive and involved the application of electrical current to the exposed brain to observe focal disruption of function or to elicit overt actions. More recently, a wide variety of techniques have been developed that do not require electrical stimulation and often do not require any explicit participation by the subject. Collectively we refer to these as passive mapping modalities. Here we review the spectrum of passive mapping used by neurosurgeons for mapping and surgical planning that ranges from invasive intracranial recordings to noninvasive imaging as well as regimented task-based protocols to completely task-free paradigms that can be performed intraoperatively while under anesthesia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Brain mapping
  • Electrophysiology
  • Functional MRI
  • Passive mapping
  • Resting state


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