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Naming things: Its importance in youth with epilepsy


Neuropsychological assessment is undertaken in epilepsy surgery candidates for a number of reasons. One of the primary purposes is to provide information of relevance to the lateralization and localization of the seizure onset zone. Naming tasks are among the most predictive of the laterality of temporal lobe epilepsy in adults.1,2 Auditory naming in this population is more predictive than traditional visual object naming, as assessed by classic measures such as the Boston Naming Test (BNT).3 The pediatric epilepsy literature is less clear in this regard, with multiple studies showing no association between naming performance and laterality of temporal lobe epilepsy.4 This difference has been attributed by some to developmental differences between children and adults: specifically, the burgeoning specialization and localization of language functions in children.5 The competing hypothesis is that previously used assessments of naming ability, and especially visual naming, were designed for and validated in adult populations and were developmentally inappropriate and inaccurate in pediatric populations. Hamberger and her colleagues6 have recently developed and validated age-appropriate visual and auditory naming tests for children.

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