Abstract and Keywords
In the history of medicine, studies of agraphia and alexia have figured prominently in efforts to understand neural underpinnings of cognition. The central historical figure is Jules Dejerine (1849–1917), whose worked followed pioneering studies on aphasia by Broca and Wernicke. Dejerine identified the left angular gyrus as crucial for reading and writing, and he described syndromes commonly referred to as alexia with agraphia and alexia without agraphia (pure alexia). Models derived from Broca, Wernicke, and Dejerine are based on concepts of specialized cortical centers linked by subcortical nerve fiber pathways. Following his death, Dejerine’s clinical–anatomical formulations were deconstructed by Marie, Head, and Goldstein, only to be resurrected in the second half of the 20th century. Newer varieties of agraphia or alexia were linked to apraxia, impaired body image, spatial misperception, and interhemispheric disconnection; and newer syndromes were identified from information processing approaches focused on error analyses.
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