Agnosia in English


The term agnosia that we are now going to address has its etymological origin in the Greek. Specifically, we can determine that it also derives from the word “agnosia”, which can be translated as “inability to recognize”. It is made up of the sum of three clearly differentiated parts:
-The prefix “a-“, which is equivalent to “without”.
-The noun “gnosis”, which is synonymous with “knowledge”.
-The suffix “-ia”, which can be translated as “quality”.

The concept of agnosia is used in the field of medicine to refer to a perception disorder that leads a subject not to recognize individuals, elements or situations that were previously familiar to him.

Those who suffer from agnosia, thus, become incapable of recognizing certain stimuli that they have already learned. The disorder can also cause the inability to learn other stimuli.

It is important to mention that agnosia is not due to a problem in the senses, such as loss of sight. The person continues to see without problems, although he cannot register or understand what he observes.

It is determined that every agnosia, regardless of the type it is, is characterized because it has these identity signs:
-There is a clear inability to recognize stimuli that it receives through what are different sensory channels.
-In the first measures, it can happen that the person does not finish realizing that she has a problem. And it can be considered that its symptoms are a simple failure or an oversight.
-The patient who suffers it will have complaints from other people, from their environment, for their way of behaving in a “strange” way.

It is possible to differentiate between different types of agnosia. The example mentioned above corresponds to visual agnosia: the subject sees, but does not interpret. This alteration is usually generated from damage to the temporal lobe or the occipital lobe.

Within visual agnosia there are several different types such as these:
-Agnosia for colors, which encourages the person in question to not be able to identify and differentiate them.
-Prosoagnosia, which is the agnosia that affects, above all, what is the perception of faces. In the most serious cases, those who suffer it may even fail to recognize themselves in front of the mirror and neither can their loved ones.

The auditory agnosia, meanwhile, occurs when the person fails to interpret the sounds. Similar to visual agnosia, the affected person can listen without problems: the drawback lies in the processing of the meaning of the sound in question.

The bodily agnosias constitute a group of alterations that imply that the subject fails to recognize or identify part or all of his body. Other types of agnosias are motor agnosias (problems remembering a movement pattern) and tactile agnosias (difficulties in recognizing what is touched), among others.