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February 1986

Loss of Topographic Familiarity: An Environmental Agnosia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, University Hospital, Zurich (Dr Landis); the Neurobehavior Unit, West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center (Brentwood Division) and the Neurobehavior Program, Department of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine (Drs Cummings and Benson); and the Department of Neurology, Lahey Clinic, Boston (Dr Palmer).

Arch Neurol. 1986;43(2):132-136. doi:10.1001/archneur.1986.00520020026011

• Sixteen patients manifested the syndrome of loss of environmental familiarity. The syndrome is characterized by an inability to recognize familiar surroundings in spite of relatively intact verbal memory, cognition, and perception. In addition to the loss of environmental familiarity, other clinical disturbances, including central achromatopsia, prosopagnosia, palinopsia, visual hallucinations, dressing disturbances, or impaired revisualization, were present in several cases. Radiologic studies revealed that all patients had right medial temporo-occipital lesions; three had additional left-sided lesions. Clinical observations suggest that the syndrome is a class-specific agnosia similar to prosopagnosia.