Agnosia is a general term that describes an inability for a person to recognize faces, voices, places, or objects. The various forms of agnosia are incredibly rare and are often difficult to diagnose. An individual with agnosia is still able to think, speak, and interact normally, though they may have difficulty when they encounter something their agnosia prevents them from recognizing. There are three general forms of agnosia, each with a multitude of sub-conditions.
A person with visual agnosia is incapable of recognizing something by looking at it. This is a broad category of agnosia with two subtypes: apperceptive and associative. Apperceptive visual agnosia means an individual has difficulty assembling parts of an image into something they understand. For example, some patients with this form of agnosia struggle to tell the difference between a Scrabble tile and a poker chip, despite the clear differences in their shape, color, and size. Associative visual agnosia is an inability to recall information about an object. This includes the object’s name, purpose, and origin.
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