Skip to main content Accessibility help

Evidence for the Solidarity of the Expressive and Receptive Language Systems: A Retrospective Study

  • Dana C. Moser (a1) (a2), Andrew C. Papanicolaou (a1), Paul Swank (a1) and Joshua I. Breier (a1)


A strong tendency toward left hemisphere (LH) language dominance has been well established, as evidenced by the high prevalence of language impairment following sudden onset lesions in the LH. In the presence of progressive LH pathology, such as epilepsy, substantial deviations in language organization can occur. However, the question regarding whether reorganization involves both expressive and receptive language functions or only the one directly affected by the primary location of pathology has not been settled. Using Wada testing scores from 296 epilepsy patients and estimated rates of typical dominance in the normal population, we assessed the frequency with which left frontal and temporal pathology resulted in reorganization of only the expressive or receptive language function or both. The comparisons revealed: (1) a significantly higher prevalence of atypical organization (i.e., deviations from LH dominance) among the LH patients compared to normal population estimates and right hemisphere patients, and (2) that regardless of pathology location within the LH, the rates of atypical reorganization for both expressive and receptive language were essentially equal. These results constitute evidence that the two language functions are intimately yoked and that when disruption to the system results in reorganization, it usually yields functional changes throughout the system. (JINS, 2010, 17, 000–000)


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Andrew C. Papanicolaou, Center for Clinical Neurosciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 1333 Moursund Street, Ste. H 114, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail:


Hide All
Bryden, M.P., Hécaen, H., DeAgostini, M. (1983). Patterns of cerebral organization. Brain and Language, 20, 249262.
Gaillard, W.D., Berl, M.M., Moore, E.N., Ritzl, E.K., Rosenberger, L.R., Weinstein, S.L., Theodore, W.H. (2007). Atypical language in lesional and nonlesional complex partial epilepsy. Neurology, 69, 17611771.
Geschwind, N. (1970). The organization of language and the brain. Science, 170, 940944.
Kamada, K., Sawamura, Y., Takeuchi, F., Kuriki, S., Kawai, K., Morita, A., Todo, T. (2007). Expressive and receptive language areas determined by a non-invasive reliable method using functional magnetic resonance imaging and magnetoencephalography. Neurosurgery, 60, 296306.
Kamada, K., Takeuchi, F., Kuriki, S., Todo, T., Morita, A., Sawamura, Y. (2006). Dissociated expressive and receptive language functions on magnetoencephalography, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and amobarbital studies. Case report and review of the literature. Journal of Neurosurgery, 104, 598607.
Knecht, S., Deppe, M., Dräger, B., Bobe, L., Lohmann, H., Ringelstein, E., Henningsen, H. (2000). Language lateralization in healthy right-handers. Brain, 123(Pt 1), 7481.
Kurthen, M., Helmstaedter, C., Linke, D.B., Hufnagel, A., Elger, C.E., Schramm, J. (1994). Quantitative and qualitative evaluation of patterns of cerebral language dominance. An amobarbital study. Brain and Language, 46, 536564.
Kurthen, M., Helmstaedter, C., Linke, D.B., Solymosi, L., Elger, C.E., Schramm, J. (1992). Interhemispheric dissociation of expressive and receptive language functions in patients with complex-partial seizures: An amobarbital study. Brain and Language, 43, 694712.
Lee, D., Swanson, S.J., Sabsevitz, D.S., Hammeke, T.A., Scott Winstanley, F., Possing, E.T., Binder, J.R. (2008). Functional MRI and Wada studies in patients with interhemispheric dissociation of language functions. Epilepsy & Behavior, 13, 350356.
Maestú, F., Saldaña, C., Amo, C., González-Hidalgo, M., Fernandez, A., Fernandez, S., Ortiz, T. (2004). Can small lesions induce language reorganization as large lesions do? Brain and Language, 89, 433438.
Newcombe, F., Ratcliff, G. (1973). Handedness, speech lateralization and ability. Neuropsychologia, 11, 399407.
Papanicolaou, A.C., Simos, P.G., Breier, J.I., Zouridakis, G., Wilmore, L.J., Wheless, J.W., Gormley, W.B. (1999). Magnetoencephalographic mapping of the language specific cortex. Journal of Neurosurgery, 90, 8593.
Pataraia, E., Simos, P.G., Castillo, E.M., Billingsley-Marshall, R.L., McGregor, A.L., Breier, J.I., Papanicolaou, A.C. (2004). Reorganization of language-specific cortex in patients with lesions or mesial temporal epilepsy. Neurology, 63, 18251832.
Pedersen, P.M., Jørgensen, H.S., Nakayama, H., Raaschou, H.O., Olsen, T.S. (1995). Aphasia in acute stroke: Incidence, determinants, and recovery. Annals of Neurology, 38, 659666.
Pujol, J., Deus, J., Losilla, J.M., Capdevila, A. (1999). Cerebral lateralization of language in normal left-handed people studied by functional MRI. Neurology, 52, 10381043.
Rasmussen, T., Milner, B. (1977). The role of early left-brain injury in determining lateralization of cerebral speech functions. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 299, 355369.
Risse, G.L., Gates, J.R., Fangman, M.C. (1997). A reconsideration of bilateral language representation based on the intracarotid amobarbital procedure. Brain and Cognition, 33, 118132.
Rutten, G.J., Ramsey, N.F., van Rijen, P.C., Alpherts, W.C., van Veelen, C.W. (2002). FMRI-determined language lateralization in patients with unilateral or mixed language dominance according to the Wada test. Neuroimage, 17, 447460.
Springer, J.A., Binder, J.R., Hammeke, T.A., Swanson, S.J., Frost, J.A., Bellgowan, P.S.F., Mueller, W.M. (1999). Language dominance in neurologically normal and epilepsy subjects: A functional MRI study. Brain, 122, 20332045.
Vikingstad, E.M., George, K.P., Johnson, A.F., Cao, Y. (2000). Cortical language lateralization in right handed normal subjects using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Journal of Neurological Sciences, 175, 1727.


Evidence for the Solidarity of the Expressive and Receptive Language Systems: A Retrospective Study

  • Dana C. Moser (a1) (a2), Andrew C. Papanicolaou (a1), Paul Swank (a1) and Joshua I. Breier (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed