Anatomical functional and cognitive determinants of semantic memory disorders

Guido Gainotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contemporary debates on the 'semantic memory' construct revolve around three main topics: (1) the functional and anatomical relationships between episodic and semantic memory; (2) the format of semantic representations and their relationships with the underlying sensory-motor processes; (3) the categorical organization of semantic memory. The aim of the present review is to demonstrate that there is a common thread linking these different aspects of semantic memory. This thread is represented by the interdependence of mechanisms involved in the construction of semantic memory and the content of semantic representations. In particular, I suggest there is a continuity between: (a) the mechanisms of acquisition of episodic and semantic memory; (b) semantic representations and sensory-motor processes preliminary to the acquisition of these representations. This continuity has important implications for the format of semantic representations and the brain structures subserving the organisation of various categories of knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-594
Number of pages18
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Category-specific semantic disorders
  • Episodic memory
  • Format of semantic representations
  • Living things-artefacts
  • Modality-specific semantic disorders
  • Neuro-anatomical correlates
  • Perceptual activities
  • Semantic memory
  • Verbs-nouns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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