What a pooled data study tells us about the relationships between gender and knowledge of semantic categories

F. Javier Moreno-Martínez, Davide Quaranta, Guido Gainotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Both the neuropsychological study of patients with category-specific semantic disorders (CSSD) and the experimental research on categorical processing in healthy subjects (HSs) have shown that men are mainly impaired with fruits and vegetables and women with animals and artifacts. Since this difference is more striking in patients with CSSD than in HSs, we hypothesized that the lack of power of some investigations conducted with HSs and the different methods used in studies conducted with HSs and patients with CSSD could explain some of these inconsistencies and that a study conducted with a very large number of HSs using visual naming tasks should strongly confirm the role of gender in categorical tasks. Methods: Picture naming data gathered during the last ten years with our category-specificity paradigm from a large number (702) of HSs were reanalyzed. Results: As predicted, men named significantly more animals and artifacts, while women named more plant life items. Discussion: These data confirm that, if different domains of knowledge are studied in a very large sample of HSs using a picture naming task equivalent to the naming tasks used in most anatomo-clinical studies on CSSD, then the gender effects are highly significant.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • animals
  • category-specificity paradigm
  • experiments lacking power
  • Gender-related cognitive differences
  • plant life and artifact categories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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