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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 27 (2013), Issue 2, Pages 229-234
Case Report

Possible Roles of the Dominant Uncinate Fasciculus in Naming Objects: A Case Report of Intraoperative Electrical Stimulation on a Patient with a Brain Tumour

Keiko Nomura,1 Hiroaki Kazui,1 Hiromasa Tokunaga,1 Masayuki Hirata,2 Tetsu Goto,2 Yuko Goto,2 Naoya Hashimoto,2 Toshiki Yoshimine,2 and Masatoshi Takeda1

1Department of Psychiatry, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita-city, Osaka, Japan
2Department of Neurosurgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita-city, Osaka, Japan

Received 10 December 2012; Accepted 10 December 2012

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


How the dominant uncinate fasciculus (UF) contributes to naming performance is uncertain. In this case report, a patient with an astrocytoma near the dominant UF was given a picture-naming task during intraoperative electrical stimulation in order to resect as much tumourous tissues as possible without impairing the dominant UF function. Here we report that the stimulations with the picture-naming task also provided some insights into how the dominant UF contributes to naming performance. The stimulation induced naming difficulty, verbal paraphasia, and recurrent and continuous perseveration. Moreover, just after producing the incorrect responses, the patient displayed continuous perseveration even though the stimulation had ended. The left UF connects to the inferior frontal lobe, which is necessary for word production, so that the naming difficulty appears to be the result of disrupted word production caused by electrical stimulation of the dominant UF. The verbal paraphasia appears to be due to the failure to select the correct word from semantic memory and the failure to suppress the incorrect word. The left UF is associated with working memory, which plays an important role in recurrent perseveration. The continuous perseveration appears to be due to disturbances in word production and a failure to inhibit an appropriate response. These findings in this case suggest that the dominant UF has multiple roles in the naming of objects.