Pure kana agraphia as a manifestation of graphemic buffer impairment

Kae Kokubo, Kyoko Suzuki, Atsushi Yamadori, Kei Salon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We report a left-handed man who demonstrated a pure agraphia limited to words written in Kana characters (syllabograms) following a right putaminal hemorrhage. Writing words in Kanji characters (logograms) was well preserved. His performance in Kana writing was characterized by intact ability to write single syllables, error increase in the second half of words directly proportional to the word length and correct but slow writing of words using kana blocks. Errors were more prominent in Hiragana words than Katakana words which are usually used to transcribe foreign words. Acoustic-grapheme sequencing per se was not impaired as shown by his correct performance in arranging character blocks. These findings suggest selective damage to the graphemic buffer, a module that temporarily maintains the graphemic representation elaborated in previous stages before it is sent to the peripheral systems for its motor realization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-195
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Apr


  • Agraphia
  • Graphemic buffer
  • Kana


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