An 18-year-old male with intractable complex partial seizures is described in whom localised epileptiform discharges in the EEG were influenced in a specific manner by different cognitive tasks. The patient had impaired verbal skills but above average visuospatial ability, and seizures probably arising in the left temporal lobe. Comparison of verbal and visuospatial tasks showed that focal epileptiform activity was suppressed or enhanced depending on the nature of the immediate and preceding cognitive tasks. The finding of particular interest was the activity of a posterior temporal spike focus only during rest periods after verbal tasks, by contrast with an independent mid-to-anterior temporal focus that was suppressed during verbal tasks.
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