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Rev Neurol (Paris). 2017 Jul - Aug;173(7-8):451-460. doi: 10.1016/j.neurol.2017.07.009. Epub 2017 Aug 24.

Visual agnosia and focal brain injury.

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Department of neurology, Rouen university hospital, CHU Charles-Nicolle, 1, rue de Germont, 76031 Rouen cedex, France; Inserm U1077, pôle des formations et de recherche en santé, université de Caen-Normandie, UMR-S1077, 2, rue des Rochambelles, 14032 Caen cedex, France. Electronic address:


Visual agnosia encompasses all disorders of visual recognition within a selective visual modality not due to an impairment of elementary visual processing or other cognitive deficit. Based on a sequential dichotomy between the perceptual and memory systems, two different categories of visual object agnosia are usually considered: 'apperceptive agnosia' and 'associative agnosia'. Impaired visual recognition within a single category of stimuli is also reported in: (i) visual object agnosia of the ventral pathway, such as prosopagnosia (for faces), pure alexia (for words), or topographagnosia (for landmarks); (ii) visual spatial agnosia of the dorsal pathway, such as cerebral akinetopsia (for movement), or orientation agnosia (for the placement of objects in space). Focal brain injuries provide a unique opportunity to better understand regional brain function, particularly with the use of effective statistical approaches such as voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM). The aim of the present work was twofold: (i) to review the various agnosia categories according to the traditional visual dual-pathway model; and (ii) to better assess the anatomical network underlying visual recognition through lesion-mapping studies correlating neuroanatomical and clinical outcomes.


Alexia; Orientation agnosia; Prosopagnosia; Topographagnosia; Visual agnosia

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