Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We report a 12-year longitudinal case study on a 60-year-old male patient (DW) with category-specific agnosia. The extent to which DW's impairment has changed over time was evaluated using identical tests at time 1 (1988) and time 2 (2000). In particular, we assessed his ability to identify pictures and real objects, to draw from memory, and to access stored semantic information about living and non-living things. The principal findings were: (i). DW was significantly better at identifying real objects in comparison with line drawings. (ii). DW presented with a category-specific impairment for living things that remained consistent over the 12-year period. (iii). He significantly improved in his ability to identify real non-living objects over the 12-year period but real living objects remained at floor. (iv). His ability to access stored visual knowledge declined over time. On the basis of these data, we suggest that visual perception is required to maintain intact visual memories over a period of time. We also suggest that integrative visual agnosia co-occurs with a category-specific impairment for living things because the recognition of these items requires more global processing than for non-living things. In addition, we suggest that degradation to stored visual knowledge can cause category-specific naming impairments for living compared with non-living things because naming living things requires access to more detailed visual knowledge.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





466 - 479


Agnosia, Cerebral Infarction, Concept Formation, Humans, Identification, Psychological, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Neuropsychological Tests, Paired-Associate Learning, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Retention, Psychology, Semantics, Visual Perception