Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Auditory Agnosia

  • John E. MendozaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_709


Auditory-sound agnosia; Auditory-verbal agnosia; Pure word deafness


Rare condition in which sounds, although heard, are not properly interpreted and thus have little or no meaning for the patient.

Current Knowledge

When present, auditory agnosia is usually primarily limited to impaired recognition of either language sounds or nonlanguage (environmental) sounds. The former is known as auditory-verbal agnosia or pure word deafness. No commonly used term is applied to the latter. In either condition, appreciation of certain aspects of musical sounds might also be compromised (amusia). For this syndrome to be diagnosed, other higher-order deficits that might more readily explain the deficit (such as aphasic disorder) should be ruled out. In auditory-verbal agnosia, there is impairment of one’s ability to process, interpret, or comprehend speech sounds or spoken language. Patients may report that it is like hearing someone speaking in a foreign language. Reading,...

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References and Readings

  1. Bauer, R. M., & Demery, J. A. (2003). Agnosia. In K. Heilman & E. Valenstein (Eds.), Clinical neuropsychology (4th ed., pp. 236–295). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Slevc, L., & Shell, A. (2015). Auditory agnosia. In M. Aminoff, F. Boller, & D. Swaab (Eds.), Handbook of clinical neurology (Vol. 129, pp. 573–587).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and NeuroscienceTulane Medical School and SE Louisiana Veterans Healthcare SystemNew OrleansUSA