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One interpretation of topographical disorientation is that environmental recognition and exploration require a cognitive process independent of those involved in other apparently similar processes such as object recognition, drawing or construction tasks. The argument that there are different types of topographical disorientation is certainly not new. Brain proposes a classification of visual disorientation which involves subsections each implicating a different causal factor for visual disorientation. However, the relations between other early perceptual deficits and topographical impairments are more problematic. The chapter suggests that it is only by specifying the nature of various functional deficits that we will come to understand the topographical problems experienced by patients and how these problems relate to normal behavior. The disturbance in gaze and the problem of visual attention in Balint’s syndrome can both be attributed to the same cause: namely, the functional impairment in peripheral vision.

Original publication





Book title

Neuropsychology of Visual Perception

Publication Date



79 - 103