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Eight important neuropsychological syndromes you’ve probably never heard of

13 July 2017

Studying people who have brain damage or illness has been hugely important to progress in psychology.

The approach is akin to reverse engineering: study how things go wrong when particular regions of the brain are compromised and it provides useful clues as to how those regions usually contribute to healthy mental function.

As a result, some neuropsychological conditions, such as Broca’s aphasia (speech deficits), prosopagnosia (a difficulty recognising faces, also known somewhat misleadingly as “face blindness”) and Alien Hand syndrome (a limb seeming to act of its own volition) have become extremely well-known – at least in psychological circles – and extensively studied.

However, others are virtually unheard of, even though their importance to our understanding of the brain is significant.

Neuropsychologist Alfredo Ardila at Florida International University has just published an overview of four of these little-known conditions in the journal Psychology and Neuroscience:

  • Central achromatopsia
  • Bálint’s syndrome
  • Pure-word deafness
  • Aphasia of the supplementary area

Read more on our Research Digest blog.

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