The Writer Who Couldn’t Read … And What That Tells Us About the Brain

It hap­pened sud­den­ly one day. Howard Engel, a Cana­di­an mys­tery writer, woke up and real­ized he could­n’t read the dai­ly news­pa­per, let alone his own nov­els. He had suf­fered a stroke, it turns out, that left him with a rare con­di­tion called alex­ia sine agraphia, a con­di­tion that strange­ly leaves vic­tims unable to read, but able to write. It seems para­dox­i­cal. Read­ing and writ­ing go hand in hand, right? Not nec­es­sar­i­ly, and that’s why we’re glad that we have NPR’s art­ful video here to explain.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.