Task activation and functional connectivity show concordant memory laterality in temporal lobe epilepsy

Noah Sideman, Ganne Chaitanya, Xiaosong He, Gaelle Doucet, Na Young Kim, Michael R. Sperling, Ashwini D. Sharan, Joseph I. Tracy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: In epilepsy, asymmetries in the organization of mesial temporal lobe (MTL) functions help determine the cognitive risk associated with procedures such as anterior temporal lobectomy. Past studies have investigated the change/shift in a visual episodic memory laterality index (LI) in mesial temporal lobe structures through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) task activations. Here, we examine whether underlying task-related functional connectivity (FC) is concordant with such standard fMRI laterality measures. Methods: A total of 56 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) (Left TLE [LTLE]: 31; Right TLE [RTLE]: 25) and 34 matched healthy controls (HC) underwent fMRI scanning during performance of a scene encoding task (SET). We assessed an activation-based LI of the hippocampal gyrus (HG) and parahippocampal gyrus (PHG) during the SET and its correspondence with task-related FC measures. Results: Analyses involving the HG and PHG showed that the patients with LTLE had a consistently higher LI (right-lateralized) than that of the HC and group with RTLE, indicating functional reorganization. The patients with RTLE did not display a reliable contralateral shift away from the pathology, with the mesial structures showing quite distinct laterality patterns (HG, no laterality bias; PHG, no evidence of LI shift). The FC data for the group with LTLE provided confirmation of reorganization effects, revealing that a rightward task LI may be based on underlying connections between several left-sided regions (middle/superior occipital and left medial frontal gyri) and the right PHG. The FCs between the right HG and left anterior cingulate/medial frontal gyri were also observed in LTLE. Importantly, the data demonstrate that the areas involved in the LTLE task activation shift to the right hemisphere showed a corresponding increase in task-related FCs between the hemispheres. Significance: Altered laterality patterns based on mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) pathology manifest as several different phenotypes, varying according to side of seizure onset and the specific mesial structures involved. There is good correspondence between task LI activation and FC patterns in the setting of LTLE, suggesting that reliable visual episodic memory reorganization may require both a shift in nodal activation and a change in nodal connectivity with mesial temporal structures involved in memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-78
Number of pages9
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Functional connectivity
  • Laterality index
  • Scene encoding task
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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