Mapping Functional Networks for Brain Surgery
Milan, Italy



Surgery near or within so-called eloquent brain structures remains a challenge, particularly because of the risk of inducing a permanent neurological deficit. Presurgical and intraoperative mapping of functional networks located near or within the lesion is required in order to maximize the boundary of lesion resection and to minimize postoperative morbidity. In the past decade functional mapping methods such as presurgical mapping (i.e., functional and diffusion MR imaging and magnetoencephalography) and intraoperative electrophysiological cortical and subcortical monitoring have been refined and extensively used. The explosive growth of functional MRI and MEG in cognitive neuroscience since the early 1990’s has had a major impact on their use of presurgical planning. More recently, the development of diffusion MRI with tractography has extended the frontier of presurgical mapping to white matter pathways and their relationship with an infiltrating neoplasm.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together in a single forum neuroscientists, MR physicists, cognitive neurologists, neuropsychologists, neuroöncologists, neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons and to provide a broader view, as well as a detailed information about the current issues involving the functional mapping methods used in surgery of eloquent areas.
Other goals of the workshop are to summarize current knowledge about localization of function in the brain; to describe results of each mapping method that have already been validated; and to address the limitations, the solutions and the challenges of each mapping method.

The application of the new functional mapping methods to the surgery of eloquent areas is indeed an extraordinary opportunity for all neurospecialists to improve their understanding of how each functional network is operating during normal and pathological conditions.


Upon completion of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  •  List the most popular imaging and electrophysiological methods available to map eloquent function in the brain of patients with focal lesions;

  • Design and implement the appropriate paradigm to map functional systems in the brain: sensorimotor, verbal language, visuo-spatial, memory and emotion;

  • Compare the limitations, solutions and challenges of each mapping method;

  • Describe strategies to validate results of each mapping method;

  • Compare the benefits of using an integrated approach to mapping functional systems in the brain; and

  • Interpret the results provided by mapping methods and predict what is the best surgical option to treat a focal lesion in a specific area of the brain.



  • Neuroscientists, MR physicists, computer scientists, neurophysiologists, cognitive neurologists, neuropsychologists, speech therapists, neuroöncologists, neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons.

  •  All specialists interested in improving their understanding of how each functional network is operating during normal and pathological conditions.

  •  The workshop is designed for participants with a basic to intermediate understanding of the topics involved.