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Invited Talk

Examining the Human Brain Mechanisms for Language, Memory, and Learning During Awake Neurosurgery

George Ojemann


How does the human brain generate such unique functions as language, verbal memory and verbal learning? Our knowledge of these machanisms remains very incomplete, in a large measure due to limitations of the techniques for acquiring these data. There are issues concerning how these functions are subdivided in the brain, where in the brain this activity occurs, as well as the nature of the activity. Neurosurgical operations where the cerebral cortex is exposed while the patient is awake under local anesthesia provide one of the few opportunities to directly address these matters. This has been my major research interest, utilizing electrical stimulation mapping localization and local field and single neuron activity recordings during standard measures of various aspects of language, verbal memory and verbal learning. My presentation will review some of the findings from that research, including where neural networks related to different aspects of language and verbal memory are likely to be found and some evidence on the patterns of activity in these neurons during those behaviors.

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