Preoperative language mapping with navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) is currently based on the disruption of performance during object naming. The resulting cortical language maps, however, lack accuracy when compared to intraoperative mapping. The question arises whether nTMS results can be improved, when another language task is considered, involving verb retrieval in sentence context. Twenty healthy German speakers were tested with object naming and a novel action naming task during nTMS language mapping. Error rates and categories in both hemispheres were compared. Action naming showed a significantly higher error rate than object naming in both hemispheres. Error category comparison revealed that this discrepancy stems from more lexico-semantic errors during action naming, indicating lexico-semantic retrieval of the verb being more affected than noun retrieval. In an area-wise comparison, higher error rates surfaced in multiple right-hemisphere areas, but only trends in the left ventral postcentral gyrus and middle superior temporal gyrus. Hesitation errors contributed significantly to the error count, but did not dull the mapping results. Inclusion of action naming coupled with a detailed error analysis may be favorable for nTMS mapping and ultimately improve accuracy in preoperative planning. Moreover, the results stress the recruitment of both left-and right-hemispheric areas during naming.
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- Action naming
- Language mapping
- Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation
- Object naming
- Picture naming