Intraoperative functional remapping unveils evolving patterns of cortical plasticity

Sam Ng, Pablo A. Valdes, Sylvie Moritz-Gasser, Anne Laure Lemaitre, Hugues Duffau, Guillaume Herbet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The efficiency with which the brain reorganizes following injury not only depends on the extent and the severity of the lesion, but also on its temporal features. It is established that diffuse low-grade gliomas (DLGG), brain tumours with a slow-growth rate, induce a compensatory modulation of the anatomo-functional architecture, making this kind of tumours an ideal lesion model to study the dynamics of neuroplasticity. Direct electrostimulation (DES) mapping is a well-tried procedure used during awake resection surgeries to identify and spare cortical epicentres which are critical for a range of functions. Because DLGG is a chronic disease, it inevitably relapses years after the initial surgery, and thus requires a second surgery to reduce tumour volume again. In this context, contrasting the cortical mappings obtained during two sequential neurosurgeries offers a unique opportunity to both identify and characterize the dynamic (i.e. re-evolving) patterns of cortical re-arrangements. Here, we capitalized on an unprecedented series of 101 DLGG patients who benefited from two DES-guided neurosurgeries usually spaced several years apart, resulting in a large DES dataset of 2082 cortical sites. All sites (either nonfunctional or associated with language, speech, motor, somatosensory and semantic processing) were recorded in Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) space. Next, we used a multi-step approach to generate probabilistic neuroplasticity maps that reflected the dynamic rearrangements of cortical mappings from one surgery to another, both at the population and individual level. Voxel-wise neuroplasticity maps revealed regions with a relatively high potential of evolving reorganizations at the population level, including the supplementary motor area (SMA, Pmax = 0.63), the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC, Pmax = 0.61), the anterior ventral premotor cortex (vPMC, Pmax = 0.43) and the middle superior temporal gyrus (STG Pmax = 0.36). Parcel-wise neuroplasticity maps confirmed this potential for the dlPFC (Fisher’s exact test, PFDR-corrected = 6.6 × 10−5), the anterior (PFDR-corrected = 0.0039) and the ventral precentral gyrus (PFDR-corrected = 0.0058). A series of clustering analyses revealed a topological migration of clusters, especially within the left dlPFC and STG (language sites); the left vPMC (speech arrest/dysarthria sites) and the right SMA (negative motor response sites). At the individual level, these dynamic changes were confirmed for the dlPFC (bilateral), the left vPMC and the anterior left STG (threshold free cluster enhancement, 5000 permutations, family-wise error-corrected). Taken as a whole, our results provide a critical insight into the dynamic potential of DLGG-induced continuing rearrangements of the cerebral cortex, with considerable implications for re-operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3088-3100
Number of pages13
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • awake surgery
  • cognitive mapping
  • cortical rearrangement
  • direct electrostimulation mapping
  • plasticity
  • recurrent glioma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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