Visual Agnosia: Disorders of Object Recognition and What They Tell Us About Normal Vision

MIT Press (1990)
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Visual Agnosia is a comprehensive and up-to-date review of disorders of higher vision that relates these disorders to current conceptions of higher vision from cognitive science, illuminating both the neuropsychological disorders and the nature of normal visual object recognition.Brain damage can lead to selective problems with visual perception, including visual agnosia the inability to recognize objects even though elementary visual functions remain unimpaired. Such disorders are relatively rare, yet they provide a window onto how the normal brain might accomplish the complex task of vision. Visual Agnosia reviews a century of case studies of higher-level visual deficits following brain damage, places them in the general context of current neuroscience, and draws relevant conclusions about the organization of normal visual processing. It is unique in drawing on research in cognitive psychology, computational vision, visual neurophysiology, and neuropsychology to interpret the agnosias and draw inferences from them about visual object recognition.Following a historical account of agnosia research, Visual Agnosia offers a taxonomy of a wide range of agnosia syndromes, describing and interpreting the syndromes in terms of the latest theoretical models of visual processing and ultimately bringing them to bear as evidence on a variety of questions in the study of higher vision.Martha J. Farah is Associate Professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. Visual Agnosia is included in the Issues in Biology of Language and Cognition series, edited by John Marshall.



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