Canter, Gerald J. Department of Communicative Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
Last reviewed:August 2019
- Criteria and characterization
- Visual agnosias
- Auditory agnosias
- Tactile agnosias
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Any disorder of recognition. Agnosias were named originally by Sigmund Freud in 1891 to denote disturbances in the ability to recognize and name objects. Usually the misrecognition involves one sensory modality, with primary sensation in that modality intact, and the ability to name the item after its presentation via another sensory modality; for example, the agnostic patient cannot identify a bell by sight, but can recognize it by its sound or touch. B. Milner and H. Teuber in 1968 defined agnosia as a “normal percept . . . stripped of its meaning.” Oliver Sacks described a patient who failed to recognize his wife's face, mistaking it for a hat. See also: Sensation
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