Mental Representation of Normal Subjects About the Sources of Knowledge in Different Semantic Categories and Unique Entities

Guido Gainotti, Francesca Ciaraffa, Maria Caterina Silveri, Camillo Marra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

According to the "sensory-motor model of semantic knowledge," different categories of knowledge differ for the weight that different "sources of knowledge" have in their representation. Our study aimed to evaluate this model, checking if subjective evaluations given by normal subjects confirm the different weight that various sources of knowledge have in the representation of different biological and artifact categories and of unique entities, such as famous people or monuments. Results showed that the visual properties are considered as the main source of knowledge for all the living and nonliving categories (as well as for unique entities), but that the clustering of these "sources of knowledge" is different for biological and artifacts categories. Visual data are, indeed, mainly associated with other perceptual (auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and tactual) attributes in the mental representation of living beings and unique entities, whereas they are associated with action-related properties and tactile information in the case of artifacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-812
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropsychology
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

Keywords

  • living/artifact categories
  • sensory-motor model of semantic representations
  • sources of knowledge
  • unique entities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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