Prosopagnosia ("face blindness") is a brain disorder which hinders facial recognition, the memory of people's names and other social details, and difficulty with "map memory" -- knowing how to get from one place to another, how to find Smith Street, etc.

Are there any brain disorders which leave these functions undamaged but which affect logic, word memory, etc, in a person who might otherwise be considered "normal"?

Basically, I'm looking for disorders which, like classical prosopagnosia, are due to some specific damage or defect to a localized area of the brain, and which produce an observable problem of some sort, but still leave the person largely functional, as prosopagnosia does. As a kind of over-simplistic example, it's my understanding that damage to a localized area of the cerebellum may (depending on where the damage is) produce a localized paralysis. But I'm thinking of syndromes which would be more likely to be due to something like encephalitis, or an inherited disorder, vs simple mechanical injury, and the injury would produce cognitive rather than motor symptoms.

For instance, a specific brain defect that blocks the ability to do math, or one that prevents the correlation of cause and effect.

(I realize this question is kind of vague, but I'm not a neuroscience pro and don't know what terminology to use.)

  • 1
    I don't understand what you're asking. Certainly there are brain disorders that affect logic, speech and memory, and the deficits can be mild enough that the person would seem to be normal, but I don't know how that could be viewed as being an opposite of prosopagnosia. What does "opposite" even mean in this context? – Carey Gregory Apr 4 '19 at 15:03
  • Agree with Carey that the idea of an "opposite" makes no sense here, but it might help you to recognize that the word itself helps you get to information about similar issues in other domains: agnosia refers to difficulty processing some type of sensory information. Prosop- is just the particular one related to faces. – Bryan Krause Apr 4 '19 at 17:00
  • I'm just wondering what some specific conditions might be, some that are presumed to be due to a specific brain injury/defect (such as damage to the right fusiform gyrus for prosopagnosia), and which result in "normal" behavior (but may cause some "quirks"). – Hot Licks Apr 4 '19 at 17:04
  • @HotLicks I would suggest that you edit your question to clarify what you mean, especially the use of "opposite" in the title. One vote to close for being unclear what you're asking has already been cast and you don't want to attract more. – Carey Gregory Apr 4 '19 at 20:09
  • I have had a condition that has been on and off most of my life where i recognise everyone. I had exposure to candle making and got lungs full of paraffin and found the left hand side of faces and words became blurred, another effect was nature shapes like plants, water, trees etc. all turned to visual white noise. It went away when i removed myself from the wax but comes back now and then. – Colin Ellis Apr 11 '19 at 16:31

Agnosia refers to difficulty processing some type of sensory information. Prosopagnosia is just the particular one related to faces, there are many other agnosias caused mainly by brain injury to some specific part of neocortex. There are also aphasias which are difficulties specifically related to speech, or apraxia which is a specific deficit with regards to motor planning.

All of these conditions can be fairly specific (i.e., other functions are spared/normal), although because they are associated with brain injury they can also come together with more general cognitive or sensory deficits, because very specific lesions are not that common in a real world setting.

Note also that the term "prosopagnosia" is only related to the difficulty with faces; "map memory" difficulties are not related to prosopagnosia directly, but it is not unusual that someone has injury or damage to more than one brain region.

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