J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 49:451-454 doi:10.1136/jnnp.49.4.451
  • Research Article

Pantomime agnosia.


Visual agnosia is impaired visual recognition not explained by defective visual acuity, visual fields, attention, or general mental ability. Two nonapraxic patients with lesions in the left occipital lobe could imitate pantomimes they could not recognise. Although both patients had a hemianopia, sparing of gesture imitation shows that no visual defect accounts for their inability to recognise pantomimes. Both patients were amnestic and alexic but had no general impairment of cognitive ability to account for a pantomime-recognition disorder. These patients seem to have agnosia for pantomime. From the computed tomograms from these patients, we propose that inferior visual association cortex is critical for gesture comprehension, whereas superior portions of these structures are critical for imitating or performing pantomime to an object presented visually.