The Anterior Temporal Lobes: New Frontiers Opened to Neuropsychological Research by Changes in Health Care and Disease Epidemiology

Guido Gainotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Changes in health care and disease epidemiology have shifted the attention of neuropsychologists and cognitive neuroscientists from vascular lesions to degenerative diseases or other bilateral brain lesions. This displacement of attention from vascular patients to patients with degenerative brain diseases allowed the discovery of hitherto unexplored and unheralded aspects of the neural substrates of human cognition. Three aspects of research on the anterior parts of the temporal lobes (ATLs) are the focus of the present review. The first aspect is category-specific semantic disorders, including current accounts of categorical brain organization, the anatomical substrate of different categories (stressing the role of the ATLs with respect to the biological categories), and the "sources of knowledge" that contribute to construction of those categories. The second aspect is the role of the ATLs in conceptual knowledge, including the "hub-and-spokes" model of semantic representation and semantic control. The third aspect is the role of the right ATL in recognition of familiar people, including the distinction made between associative prosopagnosia and multimodal disorders of person recognition. Consistencies and inconsistencies of results obtained across these different domains are discussed, and the clinical implications of these findings are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Aug 4 2017

Keywords

  • Journal Article

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