Writing with the right hemisphere

Steven Z. Rapcsak, Pelagie M. Beeson, Alan B. Rubens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


We studied writing abilities in a strongly right-handed man following a massive stroke that resulted in virtually complete destruction of the language-dominant left hemisphere. Writing was characterized by sensitivity to lexical-semantic variables (i.e., word frequency, imageability, and part of speech), semantic errors in writing to dictation and written naming, total inability to use the nonlexical phonological spelling route, and agrammatism in spontaneous writing. The reliance on a lexical-semantic strategy in spelling, semantic errors, and impaired phonology and syntax were all highly consistent with the general characteristics of right hemisphere language, as revealed by studies of split-brain patients and adults with dominant hemispherectomy. In addition, this pattern of writing closely resembled the syndrome of deep agraphia. These observations provide strong support for the hypothesis that deep agraphia reflects right hemisphere writing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-530
Number of pages21
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Writing with the right hemisphere'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this