ABSTRACT

Impaired recognition of nonverbal sounds and noises as a clinical sign of brain damage in adults has been mentioned since the last century in the neurological literature. To define this condition, clinicians spoke of “psychic deafness” or “mind-deafness” (Seelentaubheit), adopting the term coined by Munk (1881) to designate similar deficits he had observed in dogs following 173bilateral extirpation of the auditory cortex. After Freud’s monograph (1891), the term “auditory agnosia” came into use. This expression has sometimes been extended to encompass defective identification of all kinds of auditory material, including speech and music. In this paper, however, it will be employed in its original restrictive sense of defective recognition of nonverbal sounds and noises.