Category-specific semantic deficits: the role of familiarity and property type reexamined.


Category-specific deficits for living things have been explained variously as an artifact due to differences in the familiarity of concepts in different categories (E. Funnell & J. Sheridan, 1992) or as the result of an underlying impairment to sensory knowledge (E. K. Warrington & T. Shallice, 1984). Efforts to test these hypotheses empirically have been hindered by the shortcomings of currently available stimulus materials. A new set of stimuli are described that the authors developed to overcome the limitations of existing sets. The set consists of color photographs, matched across categories for familiarity and visual complexity. This set was used to test the semantic knowledge of a classic patient, J.B.R. (E. K. Warrington & T. Shallice, 1984). The results suggest that J.B.R.'s deficit for living things cannot be explained in terms of familiarity effects and that the most severely affected categories are those whose identification is most dependent on sensory information.


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@article{Bunn1998CategoryspecificSD, title={Category-specific semantic deficits: the role of familiarity and property type reexamined.}, author={Erik Bunn and Lorraine K. Tyler and Helen E. Moss}, journal={Neuropsychology}, year={1998}, volume={12 3}, pages={367-79} }