Cognitive Neuroscience, Psy 528 Fall 2001

Time: Tuesdays 12:15-3:15

Place: Psychology 317A

Instructor: Cyma Van Petten, Ph.D. (, 621-8830)


Where to find the readings: Two copies of the readings will be available at the front desk of the Psychology office (rm 312), M-F, 8 AM to 5 PM. Please sign the check-out form when you take a batch of papers. Keep them for no more than 90 minutes – long enough to go to your preferred xeroxing location and make your own copy. Please put the pages back in order and paper clip articles together as a courtesy to the other class members; if you find a missing page as you xerox, please send me an e-mail note about what’s missing.

- Some of the papers have color figures which aren’t very informative in black & white; I put ALL the color figures in a separate folder labeled "color figures" – you’ll have to copy those on a color copier.

- Some of the more recent journal articles are available on-line so you can, of course, download them yourself if you prefer that to xeroxing (but you won’t be able to get everything this way). Journals which have full text available electronically include Aphasiology, Brain, Brain & Language, Cognitive Neuropsychology, Journal of Memory & Language, Neuron, Neuropsychologia, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science, and Trends in Cognitive Science.

Overview of the course. I see the core issue for the course as what neuropsychological patients can tell us about the organization of knowledge and the relationship between knowledge, perception, action, and language. This touches on practically all areas of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, but because we have one semester (not six), I picked only a few literatures surrounding the core neuropsychology literature on semantic dementia and "category-specific" disorders: the distinction between episodic and semantic memory (which could occupy a semester by itself, so we focus on cognitive neuroscience data), review of classic behavioral data about the organization and format of semantic memory (brief), functional imaging studies of category-specificity in normal subjects, and some recent behavioral data and cognitive theory stressing the importance of "feature correlations" in the organization of semantic memory.

Requirements. This course includes a lot of reading, as befits the breadth of the topic (even after the pruning I outlined above). Note also that a reason for reading a lot is that there are clear disagreements on the facts, not just disagreements of interpretation – look for points of consistency/inconsistency as you read (this is particularly true of the neuropsychological and hemodynamic studies of putative category-specificity). Doing the reading and coming to class prepared to discuss it is the central requirement. Every week, I’ll plan to talk for only half an hour or so (either providing more purely neuroscience background for the readings, and/or laying out what I see as some outstanding questions). To encourage reading and thinking, the assignment is to write a page of commentary each week, which you’ll distribute to the rest of the class via e-mail. A commentary might consist of a logical analysis of the arguments made by an author, introduction of other findings which challenge or support the points made by an author, background questions which you see as critical for digesting the papers, experiments you think should be done, etc. The style/focus of your commentaries will no doubt vary from week to week. To make life simple, please send your commentaries as plain ascii text (in Microsoft Word, that means saving the file as "DOS text with line breaks"). Include your name and the date at the top of the file. Commentaries are due Sunday night (by midnight), so that you’ll have Monday to read other people’s reactions before class on Tuesday.


Aug 21 Brief overview, exchange e-mail addresses.

Aug 28 The episodic vs semantic memory distinction
- Tulving, E. (1972). Episodic and semantic memory. In E. Tulving & W. Donaldson (Eds.), Organization of Memory (pp 381-403). New York: Academic Press.
- McKoon, G., Ratcliff, R., & Dell, G.S. (1986). A critical evaluation of the semantic-episodic distinction. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 12, 295-306.
- Tulving, E. (1986). What kind of a hypothesis is the distinction between episodic and semantic memory? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 12, 307-311.

Sept 4 Some data regarding the episodic/semantic distinction from amnesic patients
- Knowlton, B.J., Squire, L.S.. (1993). The learning of categories: Parallel brain systems for item memory and category knowledge. Science, 262, 1747-1749.
- Squire, L.R., & Knowlton, B.J. (1995). Learning about categories in the absence of memory.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 92, 12470-12474.
- Vargha-Khadem, F., Gadian, D.G., Watkins, K.E., Connelly, van Passchen, W., and Mishkin, M. (1997). Differential effects of early hippocampal pathology on episodic and semantic memory. Science, 376-380. -
- Gadian, D.G., Aicardi, J., Watkins, K.E., Porter, D.A., Mishkin, M., & Vargha-Khadem, F. (2000). Developmental amnesia associated with early hypoxic-ischaemic injury. Brain, 123, 499-507.
- Olichney, J.M., Van Petten, C., Paller, K.A., Salmon, D.P., Iragui, V.J. & Kutas, M. (2000). Word repetition in amnesia: Electrophysiological measures of impaired and spared memory. Brain, 123, 1948-1963.Duzel, E.,
- Vargha-Khadem, F., Heinze, H.J., & Mishkin, M. (2001). Brain activity evidence for recognition without recollection after early hippocampal damage. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 98, 8101-8106.

Sept 11 Semantic dementia
- Warrington, E.K. (1975). The selective impairment of semantic memory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 27, 635-657.
- Garrard, P., & Hodges, J.R. (1999). Semantic dementia: Implications for the neural basis of language and meaning. Aphasiology, 13, 609-623.
- Bozat, S., Lambon Ralph, M.A., Patterson, K., Garrard, P., & Hodges, J.R. (2000). Non-verbal semantic impairment in semantic dementia. Neuropsychologia, 38, 1207-1215.
- Funnel, E. (2001). Evidence for scripts in semantic dementia: Implications for theories of semantic dementia. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 18, 323-341.

Sept 18 Episodic and semantic memory in semantic dementia
- Snowdon, J.S., Griffiths, H.L., & Neary, D. (1996). Semantic-episodic memory interactions in semantic dementia: Implications for retrograde memory function. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 13, 1101-1137.
- Graham, K.S., Lambon Ralph, M.A, & Hodges, J.R. (1997). Determining the impact of experience on "meaning": New insights from investigating sports-related vocabulary and knowledge in two cases with semantic dementia. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 14, 801-837.
- Snowdon, J.S., Griffiths, H.L., & Neary, D. (1999). The impact of autobiographical experience on meaning: Reply to Graham, Lambon Ralph, and Hodges. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 16, 673-687.
- Graham, K.S., Lambon Ralph, M.A., & Hodges, J.R. (1999). A questionable semantics: The interaction between semantic knowledge and autobiographical experience in semantic dementia. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 16, 689-698.

Sept 25 Organization and format of semantic memory: Traditional cognitive perspectives
- Barsalou, L.W. (1992). Cognitive Psychology. An Overview for Cognitive Scientists. Hillsdale NJ:Erlbaum. Chapter 2, Categorization (pp 15-51) and Chapter 7, Knowledge in Memory (pp 148-185).
- Paivio, A. (1978). The relationship between verbal and perceptual codes. In E.C. Carterette & M.P. Friedman (Eds.), Handbook of Perception, V. 8 (pp 375-397). London: Academic Press.
- Pylyshyn, Z.W. (1973). What the mind’s eye tells the mind’s brain: A critique of mental imagery. Psychological Bulletin, 80, 1-24.

Oct 2 "Category-specific" disorders I: An overview and some data 
- Saffran, E.M. & Schwartz, M.F. (1994). Of cabbages and things: Semantic memory from a neuropsychological perspective – A tutorial review. In C. Umilta and M. Moscovitch (Eds.), Attention and Performance XV (pp 507-536). Cambridge MA, MIT Press.
- Warrington, E.K., & Shallice, T. (1984). Category specific semantic impairments. Brain, 107, 829-854.
- Warrington, E.K., & McCarthy, R.A. (1987). Categories of knowledge. Further fractionation and an attempted integration. Brain, 110, 1273-1296.
- Warrington, E.K., & McCarthy, R.A. (1994). Multiple meaning systems in the brain: A case for visual semantics. Neuropsychologia, 32, 1465-1473.

Oct 9 The "sensory-functional" theory, and a bit about the anatomy of category- specific disorders
- Allport, D.A. (1985). Distributed memory, modular subsystems and dysphasia. In S. Newman & R. Epstein, Current Perspectives in Dysphasia (pp 32-60). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
- Farah, M.J., & McClelland, J.L. (1991). A computational model of semantic memory impairment: Modality specificity and emergent category specificity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 120, 339-357.
- Gainotti, G. (2000). What the locus of brain lesion tells us about the nature of the cognitive defect underlying category-specific disorders: A review. Cortex, 36, 539-559.  
- Tranel, D., Damasio, H., & Damasio, A.R. (1997). A neural basis for the retrieval of conceptual knowledge. Neuropsychologia, 10, 1319-1327.

Oct 16 The "true category" theory

Caramazza, A., & Shelton, J.R. (1998). Domain-specific knowledge systems in the brain: The animate-inanimate distinction.  Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 10, 1-34.


Oct 23 How cognitive psychologists think about semantic memory: An update

Barsalou, L.W. (1999). Perceptual symbol systems. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, 557-660. [Skim the commentaries for those that interest you, but do read the author’s response to commentaries].

Oct 30 Semantic features: Correlations and distinctiveness

Tyler, L.K., & Moss, H.E. (2001). Towards a distributed account of conceptual knowledge. Trends in Cognitive Science, 5, 244-252.

Tyler, L.K., Moss, H.E., Durrant-Peatfield, M.R., & Levy, J.P. (2000). Conceptual structure and the in Cognitive Science, 5, 244-252.

Moss, H.E., & Tyler, L.K. (2000). A progressive category-specific semantic deficit for non-living things. Neuropsychologia, 38, 60-82.

Nov 6 Feature correlations: Evidence from normal subjects

McRae, K., de Sa, V., & Seidenberg, M.S. (1997). On the nature and scope of featural representations of word meaning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 126, 99-130.

McRae, K., Cree, G.S., Westmacott, R., & de Sa, V.R. (1999). Further evidence for feature correlations in semantic memory. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 53, 360-373.

Garrard, P., Lambon Ralph, M.A., Hodges, J.R., & Patterson, K. (2001). Prototypicality, distinctiveness, and intercorrelation: Analyses of the semantic attributes of living and nonliving concepts. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 18, 125-174.

Nov 13 Hemodynamic imaging studies of categories and attributes, Part I

Martin, A., Haxby, J.V.., Lalonde, F.M., Wiggs, C.L., & Ungerleider, L.G.. (1995). Discrete cortical regions associated with knowledge of color and knowledge of action. Science, 270, 102-105.

Perani, D., Cappa, S.F., Bettinardi, V., Bressi, S., Gorno-Tempini, M., Matarrese, & Fazio, F. (1995). Different neural systems for the recognition of animals and man-made tools. NeuroReport, 6, 1637-1641.

Martin, A., Wiggs, C.L., Ungerleider, L.G., & Haxby, J.V. (1996). Neural correlates of category-specific knowledge. Nature, 379, 649-652.

Spitzer, M., Kischka, U., Guckel, F., Bellemann, M.E., Kammer, T., Seyyedi, S., Weisbrod, M., Schwartz, A., & Brix, G. (1998). Functional magnetic resonance imaging of category-specific cortical activation: Evidence for semantic maps. Cognitive Brain Research, 6, 309-316.

Mummery, C.J., Patterson, K., Hodges, J.R., & Price, C.J. (1998). Functional neuroanatomy of the semantic system: Divisible by what? Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 10, 766-777.

Chao, L.L., Haxby, J.V., & Martin, A. (1999). Attribute-based neural substrates for perceiving and knowing about objects. Nature Neuroscience, 2, 913-919.

Thompson-Schill, S.L, Aguirre, G.K., D’Esposito, M., & Farah, M.J. (1999). A neural basis for category and modality specificity of semantic knowledge. Neuropsychologia, 37, 671-676.

Caramazza, A. (2000). Minding the facts: A comment on Thompson-Schill et alís " A neural basis for category and modality specificity of semantic knowledge. Neuropsychologia, 38, 944-949.

Nov 20 Hemodynamic imaging studies of categories and attributes, Part II

Moore, C.J., & Price, C.J. (1999). A functional neuroimaging study of the variables that generate category-specific object processing differences. Brain, 122, 943-962.

Okada, T., Tanaka, S., Nakai, T., Nishiwaza, S., Inui, T., Sadato, N., Yonekura, Y., & Konishi, J. (2000). Naming of animals and tools: A functional magnetic resonance imagine study of categorical differences in the human brain areas commonly used for naming visually presented objects. Neuroscience Letters, 296, 33-36.

Ishai, A., Ungerleider, L.G., & Haxby, J.V. (2000). Distributed neural systems for the generation of visual images. Neuron, 28, 979-990.

Wise, R.J.S., Howard, D., Mummery, C.J., Fletcher, P., Leff, A., Buchel, C., & Scott, S.K. (2000). Noun imageability and the temporal lobes. Neuropsychologia, 38, 985-994.

Chao, L.L., & Martin, A. (2000). Representation of manipulable man-made objects in the dorsal stream. NeuroImage, 12, 478-484

Gerlach, C., Law, I., Gade, A., Paulson, O.B. (2000). Categorization and category effects in normal object recognition: A PET study. Neuropsychologia, 38, 1693-1703.

Nov 27 Nouns versus verbs: Patients

Damasio, A.R., & Tranel, D. (1993). Nouns and verbs are retrieved with differently distributed neural systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 90, 4957-4960.

Bak, T.H., O’Donovan, D.G., Xuereb, J.H., Boniface, S., & Hodges, J.R. (2001). Selective impairment of verb processing associated with pathological changes in Brodmann areas 44 and 45 in the motor neurone disease—dementia—aphasia syndrome. Brain, 124, 103-120.

Shapiro, K., & Caramazza, A. (2001). Sometimes a noun is just a noun: Comments on Bird, Howard, and Franklin. Brain and Language, 76, 202-212.

Bird, H., Howard, D., & Franklin, S. (2001). Noun—verb differences? A question of semantics: A response to Shapiro and Caramazza. Brain and Language, 76, 213-222.

Dec 4 Nouns versus verbs: Normal subjects

Tyler, L.K., Russel, R., Fadili, J., & Moss, H.E. (2001). The neural representation of nouns and verbs: PET studies. Brain, 124, 1619-1634.

Federmeier, K.D., Segal, J.B., Lombrozo, T., & Kutas, M. (2000). Brain responses to nouns, verbs, and class-ambiguous words in context. Brain, 123, 2552-2566