Neuroanatomical dissociation for taxonomic and thematic knowledge in the human brain

It is thought that semantic memory represents taxonomic information differently from thematic information. This study investigated the neural basis for the taxonomic-thematic distinction in a unique way. We gathered picture-naming errors from 86 individuals with poststroke language impairment (aphasia). Error rates were determined separately for taxonomic errors (“pear” in response to apple) and thematic errors (“worm” in response to apple), and their shared variance was regressed out of each measure. With the segmented lesions normalized to a common template, we carried out voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping on each error type separately. We found that taxonomic errors localized to the left anterior temporal lobe and thematic errors localized to the left temporoparietal junction. This is an indication that the contribution of these regions to semantic memory cleaves along taxonomic-thematic lines. Our findings show that a distinction long recognized in the psychological sciences is grounded in the structure and function of the human brain.

from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Advertisements

About Callier Library

Housed at the internationally renowned Callier Center for Communication Disorders, Callier Library a branch facility of the McDermott Library at The University of Texas at Dallas.

Posted on May 18, 2011, in Research. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: