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August 1962

Agnosia for Faces (Prosopagnosia)

Author Affiliations

From the Centre Neurochirurgical des Hôpitaux Psychiatriques de la Seine (Dr. G. Mazars, chairman).

Arch Neurol. 1962;7(2):92-100. doi:10.1001/archneur.1962.04210020014002

Difficulty in the recognition of faces as a symptom in patients with cerebral disease is not a new observation. It was first described by Charcot1 in 1883 and by Wilbrand2 in 1892. Case reports alluding to the phenomenon were later published by Millian,3 Hoff and Pötzl4 and Donini.5 However, it was Bodamer6 who definitively described the deficit in 1947 on the basis of 3 personally observed cases, and who proposed the name "prosopagnosia" for this special type of visual agnosia. Realizing that "prosopagnosia" is often merely one aspect of the clinical picture of severe object or form agnosia, Bodamer took pains to emphasize that this is not always the case and that recognition of faces may be preserved in patients with object agnosia. In this connection, he cited the cases of Lissauer7 and Nielsen.8 Ajuriaguerra and one of us (H.H.) recently observed

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