Mirror man: A case of skilled deliberate mirror writing

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Mirror writing is a striking behaviour that is common in children and can reemerge in adults following brain damage. Skilled deliberate mirror writing has also been reported, but only anecdotally. We provide the first quantitative study of skilled deliberate mirror writing. K.B. can write forward or backward, vertically upright or inverted, with the hands acting alone or simultaneously. K.B. is predominantly left handed, but writes habitually with his right hand. Of his writing formats, his left hand mirror writing is by far the most similar in style to his normal handwriting. When writing bimanually, he performs better when his two hands make mirror-symmetrical movements to write opposite scripts than if they move in the same direction to write similar scripts. He has no special facility for reading mirrored text. These features are consistent with prior anecdotal cases and support a motor basis for K.B.'s ability, according to which his skilled mirror writing results from the left hand execution of a low-level motor program for a right hand abductive writing action. Our methods offer a novel framework for investigating the sharing of motor representations across effectors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-366
JournalCognitive Neuropsychology
Issue number4
Early online date5 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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