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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 7 (1994), Issue 3-4, Pages 165-170

Unexpected Reading Dissociation in a Brazilian “nisei” with Crossed Aphasia

P. Caramelli,1,3 M. A. M. P. Parente,2 M. L. Hosogi,2 M. Bois,3 and A. R. Lecours3

1Department of Neurology, Hospital das Clínicas, University of São Paulo School of Medicine, São Paulo, Brazil
2Speech Pathology School, University of São Paulo School of Medicine, São Paulo, Brazil
3Laboratoire Théophile-Alajouanine, Centre de recherche, Centre hospitalier Côte-des-Neiges, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Received 27 June 1994; Accepted 20 October 1994

Copyright © 1994 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There is an increased interest in reading impairments in the Japanese language, due to its particular writing system which includes two different scripts, Kanji (logograms) and Kana (phonograms). Reading dissociations between Kanji and Kana have been described, showing that each system is processed differently by the cerebral hemispheres. We describe the case of a 68 year old Brazilian “nisei” (i.e. born from Japanese parents) who had knowledge of both Japanese and Portuguese. He presented an ischemic stroke affecting the right hemisphere and subsequently developed a Broca's aphasia and an unexpected reading dissociation, with an impairment in Kana reading comprehension and a good performance in Kanji and in Portuguese. These findings suggest that the patient's right and left hemispheres have assumed opposite roles not only for oral but also for written language decodification.