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Language Testing During Awake Brain Surgery

University of Groningen via FutureLearn


Learn how to develop language tests for awake brain surgery

Language representation in the brain can be studied by testing language during awake brain surgery. In this course, you will get to know the importance of neurolinguistics and awake brain surgery by seeing the collaboration between surgical staff and neurolinguists before, during and after the operation.

You will also learn how to develop appropriate language tests for use during awake brain surgery and explore some of the latest developments in this field.

The course has been created for healthcare professionals involved in the procedure of awake surgery, including neurosurgeons and neurosurgical teams but also neurolinguists and clinical linguists who wish to start developing language tests.

Equally, it will be relevant for anyone involved in the procedure before, during and after awake brain surgery including neuro-anaesthesiologists, neuropsychologists, nursing staff and neurologists.

It also delivers useful information for patients with brain tumours and their proxies, to inform them about the surgical procedure they are about to undergo as well as anyone else intrigued by the topic.


  • Language representation in the brain
    • Let's get started!
    • Neuroanatomy of language
    • Language and what can go wrong
    • Wrapping up Week 1
  • Brain tumours and awake surgery
    • Exploring the preoperative phase
    • Assessing tumour types
    • Eligibility for surgery
    • Making the decision
    • Wrapping up Week 2
  • The procedure of awake surgery
    • The hours before the surgery
    • The first asleep phase
    • Intraoperative mapping and decision making
    • The second asleep phase and its pitfalls
    • Wrapping up Week 3
  • The importance of tailor-made language tests
    • Clinical linguists in the OR
    • The complex language map in the brain
    • Spontaneous speech testing
    • Developing tailor-made language tests
    • Wrapping up Week 4 with designing our own tests
  • Language testing during awake brain surgery
    • The variety of tests
    • How to select tests
    • Evaluating the outcome
    • Applying our tests
  • Latest developments
    • Wrapping up the test developments
    • The alternative to intraoperative mapping
    • Beyond language mapping
    • Wrapping up our course

Taught by

Roelien Bastiaanse


5.0 rating, based on 9 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 24 ratings

Start your review of Language Testing During Awake Brain Surgery

  • Anonymous
    A very well put together, covers all the basics and gives you just enough taste of the complex themes for you to look in on your own
  • This course is a real appetizer to studies, research and applications in neurolinguistics. The course is comprehensive enough with ample explanations, videos and quizzes. To be honest, I have really enjoyed the course.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent introduction to the scientific and clinical complexity of brain function (with a focus on language). Nice team, inspiring discussions. In the mood for more...
  • Elena Dmitrieva
    A very interesting and well done course for everyone. Highly recommended to linguists and everyone inserted in linguistics and biology
  • Anonymous
    This course was very interesting and useful. I recommend it for learning much more about Language Testing, Clinical Linguistics, Neurolinguistics, etc.
  • Anonymous
    An amazing course exploring awake neurosurgery and the uses of language. Interesting and stimulating , a great venture for those looking toward a career in the clinical linguistics/neurosurgical field. Brilliantly led with short videos of real life surgery throughout, consistently challenges the participant to get involved in discussion and take the course just that one step further. Personally, I found it engaging, fun and eye opening therefore, I would recommend this course to everyone in particular those keen on gaining a better insight into either medicine or language.
  • Anonymous
    The course offers a complete view of the complex process behind what it could look like a simple "linguistic test" during awake brain surgery. Every step is explained clearly with the theory and its practical use, thanks also to the use of the story of a patient who received this type of surgery. It takes less time than expected to be completed and it is super interesting!
  • Anonymous
    This was without doubt the most enthralling and intriguing online course I have ever undertaken! Those running the course were extremely helpful and knowledgeable, and their ability to explain complex topics to a beginner like myself was outstanding. I knew I was interested in Clinical Linguistics before, however this has solidified the desire to follow this dream.
  • Anonymous
    It is a very useful course for language experts, linguistics students and for the general public. I have learnt a lot during this course.

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