Dr. Daniel Tranel
Participation year
Project title

Autotopagnosia and the Body Part Knowledge Test Battery


Autotopagnosia is a disorder, which results from damage to the left hemisphere of the brain. It is characterized by an inability to locate and/or identify the parts of one's own body. It is usually seen in patients who have suffered damage to their parietal lobe, and most patients who have the disorder also have other disorders of the brain, like aphasia or apraxia. Some patients who have it are also unable to identify parts of other people's bodies, or parts of animals or inanimate objects. It was original considered a language disorder, but this has been proven untrue by the fact that some patients, who cannot say the names of body parts, are still able to nonverbally show an understanding of these parts and their functions. The neuropsychology laboratory at the University of Iowa Hospitals, headed by Dr. Tranel, has devised a test to examine the body part identification abilities of patients with left hemisphere parietal lobe damage. The test shows whether or not the patient has autotopagnosia and consists of five parts. It has both verbal and nonverbal tests of the same material to account for the presence of any speech disorders. The five sections of the test are the language production section which deals with naming, the comprehension section which mainly requires pointing, with some questions about the functions of body parts, the nonlinguistic tests, the test for body part terms for inanimate objects and the control tests section.

Khari  Wilson
Grambling State University