Understanding of Oral Language in Deafness, Auditory Verbal Agnosia and Aphasia


  • Irene Cantero Logopedia. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Madrid, España
  • María Visitación Bartolomé Pascual Departamento de Oftalmología y Otorrinolaringología. Facultad de Psicología. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Madrid. España.






At present, hearing problems, strokes and neurodegenerative diseases that affect the comprehension of oral language are very frequent, mainly due to the sedentary lifestyle and the increasing age of the population. Hearing loss or damage to the peripheral auditory system prevents certain verbal sounds from reaching the auditory pathway and being analyzed by the cerebral cortex. While the absence of oral language can be due to deafness, aphasia or auditory verbal agnosia. The total absence of peripheral hearing due to alteration or absence of the auditory receptor and / or spiral ganglion neurons is called deafness (Bartolomé, 2015). Aphasia and auditory verbal agnosia are two disorders caused by specific cortical damage. Until now, in the Spanish literature aphasia and auditory verbal agnosia are considered two different diseases, the second being very rare in clinical practice. Aguado (2012) states that verbal auditory agnosia occurs after a bilateral lesion of the posterior part of the superior temporal gyrus. However, the authors Slevc and Shell (2015) have concluded that 30% of cases with verbal auditory agnosia present a unilateral lesion, usually of the left hemisphere. Therefore, the distinction between aphasic disorder and gnosic disorder based on the location of the lesion would not be correct. Furthermore, new scientific and technical advances have made it possible to know that oral language processing does not only depend on the association areas and the arcuate fascicle. Oral comprehension and production depend on the ventral and dorsal routes, which are made up of complex systems and brain areas in both the left and right hemispheres (Hickok and Poeppel, 2004; Scott and Wise, 2004). These findings have led to the revision of the classification of aphasic syndromes and a new classification has been created that changes the nomenclature of the disorders. González and Cuetos (2012) include the term deafness within the classification of oral comprehension disorders to refer to cortical damage. Barquero and Payno (2007) use the same term to refer to gnosic auditory disorders. Ardila et al. (2016) use the terms pure verbal deafness ”and“ verbal auditory agnosia ”interchangeably to refer to lesions in the primary auditory cortex.
In this review, it is evident that the clinical use of the terms deafness and agnosia are used interchangeably to name a cortical lesion, even though they are two very different pathologies.


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2016-12-13 — Updated on 2021-09-15


How to Cite

Cantero, I., & Bartolomé Pascual, M. V. (2021). Understanding of Oral Language in Deafness, Auditory Verbal Agnosia and Aphasia. Auditio , 4(3), 67–73. https://doi.org/10.51445/sja.auditio.vol4.2018.0058 (Original work published December 13, 2016)



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