evidence for a modality-specific meaning systems in the brain?

Pam Blundell pjw106 at york.ac.uk
Mon Feb 28 12:35:41 EST 2000

"Marie" <toshrimpNOtoSPAM at hotmail.com.invalid> wrote in message
news:26e8f640.8cc97370 at usw-ex0104-026.remarq.com...
> TOB a individual with a degradation deficits, does not only
> refute the notion of an "all purpose" meaning store, but also
> provides evidence for multiple meaning representationa as
> suggeseted by McCarthy and Warrington (1988).  ARe these claims
> really supported by thorugh evidence>>?  WHat methods could be
> used to test these??


firstly, you should make it clearer in this that TOB is the patient, and he
doesn't refute anything!  McCarthy and Warrington do the refuting, using
evidence from this patient.  Enough of the pedantry...

Are these claims supported by thorough evidence, well thats hard to say
without reading more than the abstract posted elsewhere on this thread.  In
general, its hard to evaluate evidence from neuropsychological papers.  The
damage the patients suffer is not often located in one place, and you get
problems of task difficulty unless you have a convincing double
dissociation.  That is, some people claim that the visual inanimate objects
recognition is much easier that the animate, as inanimate objects have a
physical descrimiption, which is highly unique, and often has a function.
Animinate objects are much more similar, and so it is harder to attribute
unique features to them, and to discriminate between them (a dog and a cat
have very many similarities, while a car and a vacuum cleaner are quite
different!).  Untill they produce a patient with verbal problems discussing
inanimate objects, and with animate objects intact, the evidence isn't very


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