The most common deficits in processing written language result from damage to the graphemic buffer system and refer to semantic and lexical problems or difficulties in phoneme-graphene conversion. However, a writing disorder that has not yet been studied in depth is the non-linear spelling phenomenon. Indeed, although some cases have been described, no report has exhaustively explained the cognitive mechanism and the anatomical substrates underlying this process. In the present study, we analyzed the modality of non-linear writing in a patient affected by a focal cerebellar lesion, who presented with an alteration of the normal trend to write the order of the letters. Based on this evidence, we analyzed the functional connectivity between the cerebellum and the brain network that subtends handwriting and demonstrated how the cerebellar lesion of the patient affected the connections between the cerebellum and cortical areas that support the anatomical system of writing. This is the first report of non-linear spelling in a patient with a lesion outside the fronto-parietal network, specifically with a focal cerebellar lesion. We propose that non-linear writing can be interpreted in view of the role of the cerebellum in timing and sequential processing. Thus, considering the current functional connectivity data, we hypothesize that the cerebellum might be relevant in the mechanism that allows the correct activation timing of letters within a string and placement of the letters in a specific sequential writing order.
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
- Functional connectivity
- Letter order
- Non-linear spelling
- Writing system