Background: Use of functional MRI (fMRI) in pre-surgical planning is a non-invasive method for pre-operative functional mapping for patients with brain tumors, especially tumors located near eloquent cortex. Currently, this practice predominantly involves task-based fMRI (T-fMRI). Resting state fMRI (RS-fMRI) offers an alternative with several methodological advantages. Here, we compare group-level analyses of RS-fMRI vs. T-fMRI as methods for language localization. Purpose: To contrast RS-fMRI vs. T-fMRI as techniques for localization of language function. Methods: We analyzed data obtained in 35 patients who had both T-fMRI and RS-fMRI scans during the course of pre-surgical evaluation. The RS-fMRI data were analyzed using a previously trained resting-state network classifier. The T-fMRI data were analyzed using conventional techniques. Group-level results obtained by both methods were evaluated in terms of two outcome measures: (1) inter-subject variability of response magnitude and (2) sensitivity/ specificity analysis of response topography, taking as ground truth previously reported maps of the language system based on intraoperative cortical mapping as well as meta-analytic maps of language task fMRI responses. Results: Both fMRI methods localized major components of the language system (areas of Broca and Wernicke) although not with equal inter-subject consistency. Word-stem completion T-fMRI strongly activated Broca's area but also several task-general areas not specific to language. RS-fMRI provided a more specific representation of the language system. Conclusion: We demonstrate several advantages of classifier-based mapping of language representation in the brain. Language T-fMRI activated task-general (i.e., not language-specific) functional systems in addition to areas of Broca and Wernicke. In contrast, classifier-based analysis of RS-fMRI data generated maps confined to language-specific regions of the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0236423
JournalPloS one
Issue number7 July
StatePublished - Jul 2020


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