Developmental topographical disorientation in a healthy subject
We present the case of F.G., a healthy, normally developed 22-year-old male subject affected by a pervasive disorder in environmental orientation and navigation who presents no history of neurological or psychiatric disease. A neuro-radiological examination showed no evidence of anatomical or structural alterations to the brain. We submitted the subject for a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment of the different cognitive processes involved in topographical orientation to evaluate his ability to navigate the spatial environment. The results confirmed a severe developmental topographical disorder and deficits in a number of specific cognitive processes directly or indirectly involved in navigation. The results are discussed with reference to the sole previously described case of developmental topographical disorientation (Pt1; Iaria et al., 2009). F.G. differs from the former case due to the following: the greater severity of his disorder, his complete lack of navigational skills, the failure to develop compensatory strategies, and the presence of a specific deficit in processing the spatial relationships between the parts of a whole. The present case not only confirms the existence of developmental topographical-skill disorders, but also sheds light on the architecture of topographical processes and their development in human beings.