Task-Induced Functional Connectivity of the Syntax-Related Networks for Patients with a Cortical Glioma

Cereb Cortex Commun. 2020 Sep 1;1(1):tgaa061. doi: 10.1093/texcom/tgaa061. eCollection 2020.

Abstract

Analysis of the functional connectivity has enabled understanding of the cortical networks. In the present study, we used a picture-sentence matching task to introduce syntactically harder conditions, and clarified 3 major points. First, patients with a glioma in the lateral premotor cortex/inferior frontal gyrus or in other cortical regions showed much weaker activations than controls, especially in the left inferior frontal gyrus. Moreover, the error rates under the harder conditions were much higher for these patients. Secondly, syntactic loads induced selective connectivity with enhancement and suppression, consistently for both patients and controls. More specifically, the local connectivity was enhanced among the 3 syntax-related networks within the left frontal cortex, while the global connectivity of both dorsal and ventral pathways was suppressed. In addition, the exact reproducibility of r-values across the control and patient groups was remarkable, since under easier conditions alone, connectivity patterns for the patients were completely unmatched with those for the controls. Thirdly, we found an additional syntax-related network, further confirming the intergroup similarity of task-induced functional connectivity. These results indicate that functional connectivity of agrammatic patients is mostly preserved regardless of a glioma, and that the connectivity can change dynamically and systematically according to syntactic loads.

Keywords: MRI; frontal cortex; functional connectivity; glioma; language.