Category-selective neural substrates for person- and place-related concepts
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Fairhall, Scott L.
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CitationFairhall, Scott L., and Alfonso Caramazza. 2013. “Category-Selective Neural Substrates for Person- and Place-Related Concepts.” Cortex 49 (10) (November): 2748–2757. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2013.05.010.
AbstractThe influence of object-category on the representation of semantic knowledge remains unresolved. We present a functional magnetic resonance imaging study that investigates whether there are distinct neural substrates for semantic knowledge of kinds of people (e.g., lawyer, nurse etc.) and places (e.g., bank, prison etc.). Access to semantic details about kinds of people produced selective responses in the precuneus, medial prefrontal cortex, left anterior temporal lobe, posterior middle temporal gyrus and the temporoparietal junction. Corresponding place-selective responses were present in the parahippocampal gyrus and retrosplenial complex. Category selectivity was found to be less pronounced when conceptual information was accessed about kinds of people compared to unique people (e.g., Obama). We attribute this to the greater importance of cross-categorical semantic knowledge in the conceptual representation of kinds. Together, these results show the importance of object-category in non-perceptual semantic representations and indicate the manner in which these systems may interact to create full conceptual representations.
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