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      Progressive associative phonagnosia: A neuropsychological analysis

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          Abstract

          There are few detailed studies of impaired voice recognition, or phonagnosia. Here we describe two patients with progressive phonagnosia in the context of frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Patient QR presented with behavioural decline and increasing difficulty recognising familiar voices, while patient KL presented with progressive prosopagnosia. In a series of neuropsychological experiments we assessed the ability of QR and KL to recognise and judge the familiarity of voices, faces and proper names, to recognise vocal emotions, to perceive and discriminate voices, and to recognise environmental sounds and musical instruments. The patients were assessed in relation to a group of healthy age-matched control subjects. QR exhibited severe impairments of voice identification and familiarity judgments with relatively preserved recognition of difficulty-matched faces and environmental sounds; recognition of musical instruments was impaired, though better than recognition of voices. In contrast, patient KL exhibited severe impairments of both voice and face recognition, with relatively preserved recognition of musical instruments and environmental sounds. Both patients demonstrated preserved ability to analyse perceptual properties of voices and to recognise vocal emotions. The voice processing deficit in both patients could be characterised as associative phonagnosia: in the case of QR, this was relatively selective for voices, while in the case of KL, there was evidence for a multimodal impairment of person knowledge. The findings have implications for current cognitive models of voice recognition.

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          Most cited references 65

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          Thinking the voice: neural correlates of voice perception.

          The human voice is the carrier of speech, but also an "auditory face" that conveys important affective and identity information. Little is known about the neural bases of our abilities to perceive such paralinguistic information in voice. Results from recent neuroimaging studies suggest that the different types of vocal information could be processed in partially dissociated functional pathways, and support a neurocognitive model of voice perception largely similar to that proposed for face perception.
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            Understanding face recognition with an interactive activation model.

            In this paper we describe how the microstructure of the Bruce & Young (1986) functional model of face recognition may be explored and extended using an interactive activation implementation. A simulation of the recognition of familiarity of individuals is developed which accounts for a range of published findings on the effects of semantic priming, repetition priming and distinctiveness. Finally, we offer some speculative predictions made by the model, and point to an empirical programme of research which it suggests.
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              Category-specific organization in the human brain does not require visual experience.

              Distinct regions within the ventral visual pathway show neural specialization for nonliving and living stimuli (e.g., tools, houses versus animals, faces). The causes of these category preferences are widely debated. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we find that the same regions of the ventral stream that show category preferences for nonliving stimuli and animals in sighted adults show the same category preferences in adults who are blind since birth. Both blind and sighted participants had larger blood oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) responses in the medial fusiform gyrus for nonliving stimuli compared to animal stimuli and differential BOLD responses in lateral occipital cortex for animal stimuli compared to nonliving stimuli. These findings demonstrate that the medial-to-lateral bias by conceptual domain in the ventral visual pathway does not require visual experience in order to develop and suggest the operation of innately determined domain-specific constraints on the organization of object knowledge.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Neuropsychologia
                Neuropsychologia
                Neuropsychologia
                Pergamon Press
                0028-3932
                1873-3514
                March 2010
                March 2010
                : 48
                : 4
                : 1104-1114
                Affiliations
                [a ]Dementia Research Centre, Institute of Neurology, University College London, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, United Kingdom
                [b ]Centre for the Neural Basis of Hearing, Physiology Department, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. Tel.: +44 0207 829 8773; fax: +44 0207 676 2066. jwarren@ 123456drc.ion.ucl.ac.uk
                Article
                NSY3511
                10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.12.011
                2833414
                20006628
                © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

                This document may be redistributed and reused, subject to certain conditions.

                Categories
                Article

                Neurology

                person knowledge, prosopagnosia, face, dementia, voice, frontotemporal lobar degeneration

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