An Open Multilingual Language fMRI Battery (OM)

Language fMRI has been developed by a large international research community who have dedicated tremendous time and effort, both funded and unfunded, to validating fMRI for surgical planning. Given this, it is surprising that freely available versions of the best validated paradigms have not been widely available. We've programmed a standardized set of language fMRI tasks, and translated some key tasks assessing naming skill into multiple languages to allow assessment of patients from a range of linguistic backgrounds.

The tasks include standard and alternate versions of Object naming, Visual/Verbal Responsive Naming, and Auditory Responsive Naming tasks (Benjamin et al., 2017). The modified versions are a modification of those we previously published, altered to improve signal and standardization, run at multiple speeds (3s, 4s, 6s trials), with a more closely matched control condition, and programmed in multiple languages.

An abbreviated version of Jeff Binder's extensively-studied Semantic Decision-Making Task task (e.g., Sabsevitz et al. 2003) is also included. Professor Binder kindly provided his task and stimuli, and the battery currently includes a version of 5.2 minutes duration which uses fewer of his stimuli (6 blocks rather than 8), with an updated fMRI sequence. Standardized versions of Noun-Verb Generation and Verbal Fluency tasks as published by Silvia Bonelli/John Duncan's group at UCL (Bonelli et al. 2012) are also included. The versions of these tasks include the stimuli and study designs as determined from the authors' manuscripts, and, kindly, correspondence with the authors' research groups. Note that to replicate these groups methods, you will also need to replicate their analysis.

In the updated task we also include a short program to collect key variables for storing data in the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS) convention, which is extremely helpful for long-term archiving and data sharing as is becoming required for data sharing (e.g., in NIH grants).  The updated battery is available here.



Additional resources

The manual for the battery will be made available here in the near future.  Additional resources (not in the v2.0 manual) are posted here as available.


The following give additional detail when planning task piloting.

  1. Additional detail for setting up the task in fMRI (12.17.2017).
  2. Excel spreadsheet for planning sequences (volume numbers, timing) (12.17.2017).


The following double-sided cheat sheets are for run time.

  1. Cheat sheet (1) for running the tasks at scan time (12.17.2017).
  2. Cheat sheet (2) for trouble shooting (12.17.2017).