Neuropsychology studies the structure and function of the brain related to specific psychological processes and behaviors. Most psychological disorders and deficits studied by neuropsychologists are generally caused by brain damage, for instance due to a fall, a car accident, etcetera. Some deficits are not caused by direct brain damage – the study of neuropsychological effects caused by for instance Alzheimer’s disease and STD’s such as AIDS and Syphilis also fall into the domain of neuropsychology.
Here is a Top 10 of the oddest Neuropsychological Deficits.
Astereognosis is the inability to identify an object by touch without visual input. When a person with astereognosis has their eyes closed or is blind, they cannot identify the objects by handling them, even if their sensation is intact.
An anosognosic person is unaware of the existence of his or her disability. It is not just denial, but a person genuinely does not realize that, for instance, he or she is paralyzed or blind.
Someone who suffers from alexithymia is unable to describe emotion in words. Often, alexithymic individuals are not aware of what their feelings are.
6. Transient Global Amnesia
Transient global amnesia manifests with a sudden, transient loss of memory function. Immediate recall ability, language function, visual-spatial skills and social skills are preserved, as is remote memory; however, patients experience striking loss of memory for recent events and an impaired ability to retain new information. These symptoms typically last less than 24 hours.
5. Pure Alexia
A disorder where the patient is able to spell and write but is unable to read.
4. Pseudobulbar Palsy
Individuals that suffer from pseudobulbar palsy have difficulty chewing, swallowing and their speech is slurred (which is often the first symptom). They also show inappropriate emotional outbursts, such as sudden bursts of laughter or crying.
3. Hemispatial Neglect
Hemispatial neglect, or neglect syndrome is a deficit in attention to and awareness of one side of space. When a neuropsychologist asks a sufferer to draw a clock, the drawing on the right is what they often produce; they understand a clock is round, but they neglect the left side and cram the numbers into the right side. That is what they see.
A person with apraxia has lost the ability to carry out learned purposeful movements, for instance, whistling or using a screwdriver properly, or generally making precise movements with arms or legs, despite having the desire and the physical ability to make the movements.
People who suffer from prosopagnosia have lost the ability of face perception: they can no longer recognize faces. They can, however, still recognize objects.
People with prosopagnosia don’t even recognize the faces of their loved ones. In this video, a sufferer tells about prosopagnosia and how it affects her everyday life.
Had you heard of any of these neuropsychological deficits before? Which?
Do you know of any other disorders you think should have been on this list?