Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

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


  • Anastasia RaymerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_850


Agnosia is a failure to recognize a sensory stimulus that is not attributable to dysfunction of peripheral sensory mechanisms or to other cognitive impairments associated with brain damage (Bauer 2012). Agnosia is often described as a percept that is “stripped of its meaning” (Teuber 1968). The individual can respond to the presence of the stimulus but has difficulty processing the perceptual information in sufficient detail to make sense of and meaningfully recognize the stimulus. The difficulty is modality specific (e.g., visual), so the stimulus can be recognized through other sensory modalities (e.g., tactile or auditory).

Current Knowledge

Different forms of agnosia have been described that depend upon the detail with which the incoming stimulus is processed and the sensory modality and type of materials that pose difficulty. Lissauer (1890) used the terms apperceptive and associative, to classify the agnosias, terms that continue to guide descriptions of agnosia...

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References and Readings

  1. Bauer, R. M. (2012). Agnosia. In K. M. Heilman & E. Valenstein (Eds.), Clinical neuropsychology (5th ed., pp. 238–295). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Farah, M. J. (2004). Visual agnosia (2nd ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. Feinberg, T. E., Rothi, L. J. G., & Heilman, K. M. (1986). Multimodal agnosia after unilateral left hemisphere lesion. Neurology, 36, 864–867.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gainotti, G. (2014). Familiar people recognition disorders: An introductory review. Frontiers in Bioscience, S6, 58–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Lissauer, H. (1890). Ein fall von seelenblindheit nebst einem beitrage zur theorie derselben. Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten, 21, 222–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Teuber, H. L. (1968). Alteration of perception and memory in man. In L. Weiskrantz (Ed.), Analysis of behavioral change. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Communication Disorders and Special Education, Old Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA