Case study: A selective tactile naming deficit for letters and numbers due to interhemispheric disconnection

Krista Schendel, Timothy J. Herron, Brian Curran, Nina F. Dronkers, Maria Ivanova, Juliana Baldo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of white matter pathways in cognition is a topic of active investigation that is vital to both the fields of clinical neurology and cognitive neuroscience. White matter pathways provide critical connectivity amongst numerous specialized brain regions thereby enabling higher level cognition. While the effects of dissections and lesions of the corpus callosum have been reported, it is less understood how unilateral focal white matter lesions may impact cognitive processes. Here, we report a unique case study in which a small left lateralized stroke in the white matter adjacent to the body of the corpus callosum selectively impaired the ability to name letters and numbers presented to the ipsilesional, left hand. Naming of letters, numbers and objects was tested in both the visual and tactile modalities in both hands. Diffusion-weighted imaging showed a marked reduction in white matter pathway integrity through the body of the corpus callosum. Clinically, this case highlights the significant impact that a focal white matter lesion can have on higher-level cognition, specifically the integration of verbal and tactile information. Moreover, this case adds to prior reports on tactile agnosia by including DTI imaging data and emphasizing the role that white matter pathways through the body of the corpus callosum play in integrating tactile input from the right hemisphere with verbal naming capabilities of the left hemisphere. Finally, the findings also provoke fresh insight into alternative strategies for rehabilitating cognitive functioning when structural connectivity may be compromised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102614
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Corpus Callosum
  • Disconnection syndromes
  • Haptics
  • Interhemispheric transfer
  • Stroke
  • Tactile recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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