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May 2005

Etiology of Mirror Writing in Japanese—Reply

Arch Neurol. 2005;62(5):835. doi:10.1001/archneur.62.5.835

In reply

We thank Dr Tashiro and his colleagues for their interest in our review,1 and we are aware of their important contributions to the study of mirror writing, which are referred to in our article and an earlier article cites.2 Restrictions of space did not permit us to discuss in depth the various issues relating to differences between the direction and orientation of lines of writing and of individual characters and letters in different languages. However, Tashiro and coworkers confirm that although individual Japanese characters are written mainly from left to right, text has traditionally been written in vertical columns and from right to left. The same features occur in Chinese writing, and an example illustrating the difference between character and line direction is the case reported by Chia and Kinsbourne.3 Their patient with acquired mirror writing transiently reversed left-to-right Chinese characters, but the vertical sequence of writing from right-to-left was unaffected.

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