Mirror writing resulting from an egocentric representation disorder: A case report

L. Canzano, L. Piccardi, I. Bureca, C. Guariglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Buchwald (1878) used the term 'mirror writing' to indicate writing in the reverse direction to what is normal in a particular language and in which the individual letters are also reversed. Cases of healthy individuals (i.e., Leonardo da Vinci and Lewis Carroll) as well as brain-damaged patients have been described in the literature. Here, we report the case of PM, a 70-year-old right-handed woman who showed right hemiplegia and mirror writing following a stroke in the left lenticular nucleus and internal capsulae. PM underwent a complete neuropsychological evaluation, which included copying, dictation and spontaneous writing in both hemispaces with both hands. She was also tested for topographical disorientation, visuo-spatial disorders and body schema deficits. We observed isolated mirror writing only when PM wrote with the left hand, without differences between hemispaces. She also showed a left-right disorientation, a body topological map disorder and an egocentric misrepresentation. The presence of mirror writing not confined to one hemispace and the co-presence of executive function disorders, as well as anosognosia, suggests damage to our patient's sub-cortical frontal network. As no previous interpretation fits with PM's symptoms, we hypothesize that mirror writing resulted from damage to her egocentric frame of reference. This hypothesis allows us to interpret the patient's array of disorders, including mirror writing, body topological map disorder, left-right confusion and egocentric representation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-460
Number of pages14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • Body topological map
  • Egocentric disorientation
  • Frame of reference
  • Left-right confusion
  • Mirror writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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