Selective associative phonagnosia after right anterior temporal stroke

Simona Luzzi, Michela Coccia, Gabriele Polonara, Carlo Reverberi, Gabriella Ceravolo, Mauro Silvestrini, Fabio Fringuelli, Sara Baldinelli, Leandro Provinciali, Guido Gainotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the case of a 48 year old men who developed a selective impairment in famous voice recognition after ischemic stroke in right subcortical structures (lenticular nucleus and head of the caudate) and right anterior temporal lobe. He underwent fibrinolytic treatment. During the following days he progressively recovered and was discharged without neurological focal sign. Patent foramen ovale was found. When he got back to his house he noticed that he was unable to recognize the voice of his favoured singers and needed to ask who was the singer to his relatives. Neuropsychological examination revealed a selective impairment in famous voice recognition in the absence of alteration of voice perception, face perception and famous face recognition. All other neuropsychological domains were spared. In particular language, memory and executive functions were intact. Neuroimaging carried out by means of PET and MRI revealed two small ischemic lesions in the right subcortical region, involving lenticular and caudate nuclei and in the right temporal pole. To our knowledge, this is the first case described in literature of a patient showing a selective associative phonagnosia after right anterior temporal stroke. The present case helps to clarify the brain circuits underlying famous voice recognition and adds evidence in favour of a right hemisphere involvement in processing knowledge of familiar voices. These findings are discussed in relation to current models of brain organization of person-specific and general semantic knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Mar 20 2017


  • Associative phonagnosia
  • Famous voice recognition
  • Right temporal pole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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