Language representation in a patient with a dominant right hemisphere: fMRI evidence for an intrahemispheric reorganisation

Mohamed Seghier, François Lazeyras, Shahan Momjian, Jean Marie Annoni, Nicolas De Tribolet, Asaid Khateb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies have suggested that congenital left hemispheric (LH) frontal arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are associated with an early transfer of language to right hemisphere (RH) frontal regions. The question remains whether such anatomo-functional reorganisation is due to RH compensatory abilities or to a general principle of lateral shift. In this study, we used fMRI language paradigms to investigate the case of a patient presenting aphasic symptoms following an haemorrhage due to a right frontal AVM. Prior to surgery, fMRI showed that language processing was confined to the RH, suggesting that language had not shifted during childhood from this congenitally dominant RH to the LH. After surgery, the patient presented severe aphasia that recovered to presurgical level within 70 days. At this time, fMRI showed that language tasks were still not associated with activations in the LH. These results suggest that the principles of early cerebral reorganisation after congenital lesions may differ in the RH and the LH. In addition, they support the idea that efficient restoration of language is achieved if a sufficiently large neuronal network is preserved around the lesion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2785-2790
Number of pages6
Issue number13
StatePublished - 17 Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • AVM
  • Frontal cortex
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Functional recovery
  • Phonologic and semantic tasks
  • Right hemisphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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