Preserved knowledge maps of countries: Implications for the organisation of semantic memory

Lisa Cipolotti, Lisa Cipolotti, Antonio Incisa Della Rocchetta

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

6 Citazioni (Scopus)


We describe two patients with selectively preserved knowledge of the category of countries. Following a series of cerebra infarcts, patient DB presented with severe perceptual impairment, including dense apperceptive agnosia, prosopagnosia, an topographical agnosia. Despite these deficits, he could effortlessly name countries from their outline maps. Patient WH, who suffered from semantic dementia, had severe naming and comprehension difficulties, with extremely sparse residual semantic knowledge. Remarkably, the category of countries was preserved. First, we argue that, for both patients, this category preservation occurs at a semantic level. Second, we discuss our findings in the context of three current models of category-specific effects (perceptual, ontogenetic, and evolutionary models). We argue that the perceptual model (Humphreys and colleagues) cannot easily accommodate our findings. By contrast, the ontogenetic (Warrington and colleagues) and evolutionary models (Caramazza and colleagues) can explain our findings. However, some modifications to both models are required. The ontogenetic model needs to envisage a spatial channel for the development of map knowledge, which is anatomically separate from channels of other categories of knowledge. The evolutionary model needs to envisage the possibility that some categories of knowledge, such as countries, may not be prewired, but learned during ontogenetic development.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)249-264
Numero di pagine16
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.2700.2728???


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