We report on an investigation of the cognitive functions of an individual with a resection of the left fusiform gyrus. This individual and a group of control participants underwent testing to examine the question of whether or not there are neural substrates within the left fusiform gyrus that are dedicated to orthographic processing. We evaluated the modality specificity (written vs spoken language) and the category specificity (written language vs other visual categories) of this individual's impairments. The results clearly reveal deficits affecting lexical processes in both reading and spelling. Specifically, we find disruption of normal, rapid access to meaning from print in reading and of accurate retrieval of the spellings of words from their meaning in writing. These deficits stand in striking contrast with intact processing of spoken language and categories of visual stimuli such as line drawings of objects and faces. The modality and category specificity of the deficits provide clear evidence of neural substrates within the left-mid-fusiform gyrus that are specialized and necessary for normal orthographic processing.
- Fusiform gyrus
- Orthographic processing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience