Previous works have postulated a similarity between music reading and text reading. Therefore it is interesting to evaluate both of these functions in an alexic subject. The patient investigated is a professional musician who had an ischemic lesion in the left temporoparieto-occipital region. Text reading showed pure alexia in which both the phonological and global routes were damaged. His ability to read correctly via matching tests showed that the word-form system was preserved. The reading of musical scores was damaged too and showed a dissociation between the reading of ideograms and rhythms (preserved) and the reading of notes (impaired). The results of note reading were analogous to those of word reading. Furthermore, the patient could read notes correctly via matching tests. On the basis of these findings, we propose a model of music reading where the reading of notes is based on a representational system analogous to that of words (the so-called internal language) whereas reading of ideograms and rhythms occurs via an internal representation unrelated to linguistic functions.

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