Category Specificity in Brain and Mind: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Category Specificity in Brain and Mind

1st Edition

Edited by Emer Forde, Glyn Humphreys

Psychology Press

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Some of the most fascinating deficits in neuropsychology concern the failure to recognise common objects from one semantic category, such as living things, when there is no such difficulty with objects from another, such as non-living things. Over the past twenty years, numerous cases of these 'category specific' recognition and naming problems have been documented and several competing theories have been developed to account for the patients' disorders.

Category Specificity in Brain and Mind draws together the neuropsychological literature on category-specific impairments, with research on how children develop knowledge about different categories, functional brain imaging work and computational models of object recognition and semantic memory. The chapters are written by internationally leading psychologists and neuroscientists and the result is a review of the most up-to-date thinking on how knowledge about different categories is acquired and organized in the mind, and where it is represented in the human brain. The text will be essential reading for advanced undergraduates and researchers in the field of category specificity and a rich source of information for neuropsychologists, experimental and developmental psychologists, cognitive scientists and philosophers.


The book makes enthralling reading. Expert readers will enjoy plunging their teeth into the complex realm of category-specific impairment. The review section of the book will provide a stimulus for students whose knowledge on the topic is just dawning. - Sergio Della Sala, University of Aberdeen, UK

A timely illustration of cognitive neuroscience at its best - integrating empirical and theoretical developments across a broad range of research methods and theoretical perspectives towards a single issue about knowledge representation in the cognitive system and its implementation in the brain.- E.C. Leek, University of Wales, Bangor

Table of Contents

List of Contributors. Preface. L.R. Santos, A. Caramazza, The Domain-specific Hypothesis: A Developmental and Comparative Perspective on Category-specific Deficits. G. Sartori, R. Job, S. Zago, A Case of Domain-specific Semantic Deficit. G.W. Humphreys, M.J. Riddoch, E.M.E. Forde, The Principle of Target-competitor Differentiation in Object Recognition and Naming. M. Arguin, Visual Processing and the Dissociation between Biological and Man-made Categories. H.E. Moss, L.K. Tyler, J.T. Devlin, The Emergence of Category-specific Deficits in a Distributed Semantic System. P. Garrard, M.A. Lambon-Ralph, J.R. Hodges, Semantic Dementia: A Category-specific Paradox. C. Whatmough, H. Chertkow, Category-specific Recognition Impairments in Alzheimer's Disease. K. McRae, G.S. Cree, Factors Underlying Category-specific Impairments. T.T. Rogers, D.C. Plaut, Connectionist Perspectives on Category-Specific Deficits. K. Lamberts, L. Shapiro, Exemplar Models and Category-specific Deficits. J.M. Mandler, On the Foundations of the Semantic System. K. Subrahmanyam, R. Gelman, A. Lafosse, Distinguishing Between Animates and Other Worldly Things. F. Keil, N.S. Kim, M.L. Grief, Categories and Levels of Information. G. Gainotti, The Relationships Between Anatomical and Cognitive Locus of Lesion in Category-specific Disorders for Living and Non-Living Things. C. Price, K. Friston, Functional Imaging Studies of Category-Specificity.

About the Series

Brain, Behaviour and Cognition

From being an area primarily on the periphery of mainstream behavioural and cognitive science, neuropsychology has developed in recent years into an area of central concern for a range of disciplines.

We are witnessing not only a revolution in the way in which brain-behaviour-cognition relationships are viewed, but also a widening of interest concerning developments in neuropsychology on the part of a range of workers in a variety of fields.

Major advances in brain-imaging techniques and the cognitive modelling of the impairments following brain injury promise a wider understanding of the nature of the representation of cognition and behaviour in the damaged and undamaged brain.

Neuropsychology is now centrally important for those working with brain-damaged people, but the very rate of expansion in the area makes it difficult to keep with findings from the current research.

The aim of the Brain, Behaviour and Cognition series is to publish a wide range of books that present comprehensive and up-to-date overviews of current developments in specific areas of interest.

These books will be of particular interest to those working with the brain-damaged. It is the editors' intention that undergraduates, postgraduates, clinicians and researchers in psychology, speech pathology, and medicine will find this series a useful source of information on important current developments.

The authors and editors of the books in the series are experts in their respective fields, working at the forefront of contemporary research. They have produced texts that are accessible and scholarly. We thank them for their contribution and their hard work in fulfilling the aims of the series.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Neuropsychology