phonagnosia

phonagnosia

[‚fōn·ag′nō·zhə]
(psychology)
A disturbance in the recognition of familiar voices in which the affected individual has good comprehension of what is spoken, but the speaker cannot be identified.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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They identified a condition called voice blindness (phonagnosia) in a few patients.
Phonagnosia: a dissociation between familiar and unfamiliar voices.
"The finding is of interest for research on unusual neurological conditions, such as prosopagnosia and phonagnosia, which prevent people from being able to recognize others from their faces or voices," says Blank.
(193) For example, people with phonagnosia, normally acquired through damage to the right cerebral hemisphere, are incapable of recognising or experiencing 'familiarity' with even the voices of their family, despite the fact that these voices are not in any way novel to them: Diana Roupas Van Lancker et al, 'Phonagnosia: A Dissociation between Familiar and Unfamiliar Voices' (1988) 24 Cortex 195.
Brain-science nuggets are interspersed with the author's other musings, on subjects vast and varied, this being, after all, "a book about living life." First up is a disquisition on what Christian calls "authenticating"; he moves from telling a story about a man with phonagnosia (the man cannot recognize voices, even his mother's) to relaying the history of speed dating to dissecting the structure of a particular AI program called Cleverbot.