Abstract and Keywords
The voice contains elementary social communication cues, conveying speech, as well as paralinguistic information pertaining to the emotional state and the identity of the speaker. In contrast to vocal-speech and vocal-emotion processing, voice-identity processing has been less explored. This seems surprising, given the day-to-day significance of person recognition by voice. A valuable approach to unravel how voice-identity processing is accomplished is to investigate people who have a selective deficit in recognizing voices. Such a deficit has been termed phonagnosia. This chapter provides a systematic overview of studies on phonagnosia and how they relate to current neurocognitive models of person recognition. It reviews studies that have characterized people who suffer from phonagnosia following brain damage (i.e. acquired phonagnosia) and also studies which have examined phonagnosia cases without apparent brain lesion (i.e. developmental phonagnosia). Based on the reviewed literature, the chapter emphasizes the need for a careful behavioural characterization of phonagnosia cases by taking into consideration the multistage nature of voice-identity processing and the resulting behavioural phonagnosia subtypes.
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