To understand mental function, we need to uncover the representations and processes underlying our ability to comprehend and to produce words, sentences,numbers and objects (or pictures of them). The unique contribution of the field of cognitive neuropsychology is the investigation of these representations and processes in individuals who have sustained selective brain damage. Indeed, studies of such individuals provide a window into the mental system and allow us to explore the functional architecture that is necessary and sufficient for cognition.
This special issue of Cognitive Neuropsychology is a collection of papers that exemplifies this type of cognitive neuropsychology research. The special issue is designed to honour and pay tribute to Eleanor M. Saffran, one of the pioneers of this discipline, who adopted this approach in her wide-ranging investigations of individuals with cognitive impairment following brain damage.
The papers included in this collection all explore issues concerning behavioural and neural mechanisms mediating cognition and are divided into four separate sections. Two of these focus on language, with the emphasis of the first on single word recognition and the second on processes that are invoked beyond the single word level. Conceptual and semantic processes are covered in a third section and the final section is concerned with issues related to more peripheral processes, which, when impaired, give rise to alexia, agnosia and/or agraphia. This extensive collection of papers represents a comprehensive overview of the current state of the field and the papers elucidate the most recent findings in the domain of cognitive neuropsychology.
M. Behrmann, K. Patterson, Preface: Dedication to Eleanor Saffran. Part I: Single Word Processing. M. Behrmann, Description of Eleanor Saffran's Contribution to This Area. M. Laiacona, A. Caramazza, The Noun/Verb Dissociation in Language Production: Varieties of Causes. G.S. Dell, E.N. Lawler, H.D. Harris, J.K. Gordon, Models of Errors of Omission in Aphasic Naming. J.R. Hanley, G.S. Dell, J. Kay, R. Baron, Evidence for the Involvement of a Nonlexical Route in the Repetition of Familiar Words: A Comparison of Single and Dual Route Models of Auditory Repetition. M. Schwartz, C.E. Wilshire, D.A. Gagnon, M. Polansky, Origins of Nonword Phonological Errors in Aphasic Picture Naming. C.E. Wilshire, C.A. Fisher, "Phonological" Dysphasia: A Cross-modal Phonological Impairment Affecting Repetition, Production and Comprehension. Part II: Beyond Single Word Processing.K. Patterson, Description of Eleanor Saffran's Contribution to This Area: Exploring the Relationship Between Word Processing and Verbal Short-term Memory: Evidence from Associations and Dissociations. R.S. Berndt, C.C. Mitchum, M.W. Burton, A.N. Haendiges, Comprehension of Reversible Sentences in Aphasia: The Effects of Verb Meaning. M.L. Freedman, R.C. Martin, Semantic Relatedness Effects in Conjoined Noun Phrase Production: Implications for the Role of Short-term Memory. M.C. Linebarger, D. McCall, R.S. Berndt, The Role of Processing Support in the Remediation of Aphasic Language Production Disorders. Part III: Conceptual and Semantic Representations. K. Patterson, Description of Eleanor Saffran's Contribution to This Area. J. Schwoebel, L.J. Buxbaum, H.B. Coslett, Representations of the Human Body in the Production and Imitation of Complex Movements. E.K. Warrington, S.J. Crutch, A Circumscribed Refractory Access Disorder: A Verbal Semantic Impairment Sparing Visual Semantics. E. Rochon, G. Kave, J. Cupit, R. Jokel, G. Winocur, Sentence Comprehension in Semantic Dementia: A Longitudinal Case Study. T.T. Rogers, M.A. Lambon Ralph, J.R. Hodges, K. Patterson, Natural Selection: The Impact of Semantic Impairment on Lexical and Object Decision. R. Westmacott, M. Freedman, S.E. Black, M. Moscovitch, Temporally Graded Semantic Memory Loss in Alzheimer's Disease: Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Studies. Part IV: Three As: Alexia, Agraphia, Agnosia. M. Behrmann, Description of Eleanor Saffran's Contribution to This Area. K. Sage, A.W. Ellis, Lexical Influences in Graphemic Buffer Disorder. M.A. Lambon Ralph, A. Hesketh, K. Sage, Implicit Recognition in Pure Alexia: The Saffran Effect - A Tale of Two Systems or Two Procedures? M.J. Riddoch, G.W. Humphreys, Object Identification in Simultanagnosia: When Wholes Are Not the Sum of Their Parts. T.J. McKeeff, M. Behrmann, Pure Alexia and Covert Reading: Evidence From Stroop Tasks. Subject Index.