Members in the Media
From: The New York Times

Insight From Trouble in Recognizing Objects

The New York Times:

Object agnosia is a rare disorder in which an individual cannot visually recognize objects. In the case of a patient known as SM, he mistook a harmonica for a cash register.

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon and Princeton University studied SM’s brain and discovered that it was affected not only in the portion of the right hemisphere that had been damaged in a car accident, but also in his structurally intact left hemisphere.

They performed functional M.R.I. brain scans on the patient and report their findings in the journal Neuron.

The part of the brain where an image is processed, known as the lower visual cortex, was similar in SM and in normal test subjects. But in and around the area where SM had a lesion, he had decreased brain activity.

“It’s not that his brain does not respond at all to visual input — it certainly does,” said Marlene Behrmann, a neuroscientist at Carnegie Mellon and one of the study’s authors.

Rather, the problem is that his brain is unable to uniquely assign that visual input to a known object, like a harmonica.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

More of our Members in the Media >

APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.