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Accueil du site > Séminaires LNC > séminaires à venir (upcoming seminars)

Randi Starrfelt (University of Copenhague)

Pure alexia and visual (word) recognition

Pure alexia, or alexia without agraphia, is a curious neuropsychological syndrome where patients lose the ability to read following focal brain injury, while their written and spoken language is largely intact. As neuropsychological syndromes go, it is a quite simple syndrome : Only one cognitive function is clearly affected, namely visual word recognition. So the syndrome should be easy to explain. Yet there is so far no consensus about the cognitive cause of this reading disorder : Is it a word specific problem, or rather due to a more general deficit in visual recognition ? What cognitive mechanism might be damaged to leave writing intact while reading is impaired ? My talk will discuss the main questions in pure alexia research, and present data suggesting that pure alexia is a general deficit in visual processing, but one that has a larger impact on visual word recognition than visual recognition of other stimuli. I will also touch on recent suggestions that pure alexia is less selective than previously thought both with regards to other perceptual functions like face recognition, and language functions like writing.