MULTIMAP: Multilingual picture naming test for mapping eloquent areas during awake surgeries

Sandra Gisbert-Muñoz, Ileana Quiñones, Lucia Amoruso, Polina Timofeeva, Shuang Geng, Sami Boudelaa, Iñigo Pomposo, Santiago Gil-Robles, Manuel Carreiras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Picture naming tasks are currently the gold standard for identifying and preserving language-related areas during awake brain surgery. With multilingual populations increasing worldwide, patients frequently need to be tested in more than one language. There is still no reliable testing instrument, as the available batteries have been developed for specific languages. Heterogeneity in the selection criteria for stimuli leads to differences, for example, in the size, color, image quality, and even names associated with pictures, making direct cross-linguistic comparisons difficult. Here we present MULTIMAP, a new multilingual picture naming test for mapping eloquent areas during awake brain surgery. Recognizing that the distinction between nouns and verbs is necessary for detailed and precise language mapping, MULTIMAP consists of a database of 218 standardized color pictures representing both objects and actions. These images have been tested for name agreement with speakers of Spanish, Basque, Catalan, Italian, French, English, German, Mandarin Chinese, and Arabic, and have been controlled for relevant linguistic features in cross-language combinations. The MULTIMAP test for objects and verbs represents an alternative to the Oral Denomination 80 (DO 80) monolingual pictorial set currently used in language mapping, providing an open-source, standardized set of up-to-date pictures, where relevant linguistic variables across several languages have been taken into account in picture creation and selection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)918-927
Number of pages10
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Awake brain surgery
  • Language mapping
  • Multilingual
  • Nouns
  • Verbs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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