Behavioural Neurology

Behavioural Neurology / 2012 / Article
Special Issue

Acquired Dyslexia and Dysgraphia Across Scripts

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Volume 25 |Article ID 258685 |

Maximiliano A. Wilson, Macarena Martínez-Cuitiño, "Semantic Dementia without Surface Dyslexia in Spanish: Unimpaired Reading with Impaired Semantics", Behavioural Neurology, vol. 25, Article ID 258685, 12 pages, 2012.

Semantic Dementia without Surface Dyslexia in Spanish: Unimpaired Reading with Impaired Semantics

Received16 Mar 2012
Accepted16 Mar 2012


Surface dyslexia has been attributed to an overreliance on the sub-lexical route for reading. Typically, surface dyslexic patients commit regularisation errors when reading irregular words. Also, semantic dementia has often been associated with surface dyslexia, leading to some explanations of the reading impairment that stress the role of semantics in irregular word reading. Nevertheless, some patients have been reported with unimpaired ability to read irregular words, even though they show severe comprehension impairment. We present the case of M.B., the first Spanish-speaking semantic dementia patient to be reported who shows unimpaired reading of non-words, regular words, and–most strikingly–irregular loan words. M.B. has severely impaired comprehension of the same words he reads correctly (whether regular or irregular). We argue that M.B.’s pattern of performance shows that irregular words can be correctly read even with impaired semantic knowledge corresponding to those words.

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. 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.

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