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Colour knowledge in semantic dementia: It is not all black and white

Rogers, Timothy T., Patterson, Karalyn and Graham, Kim Samantha 2007. Colour knowledge in semantic dementia: It is not all black and white. Neuropsychologia 45 (14) , pp. 3285-3298. 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2007.06.020

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Abstract

In three experiments we assessed the colour knowledge of patients with semantic dementia, a neuro-degenerative condition that gradually erodes conceptual knowledge. In Experiment 1, the patients’ colour naming performance correlated strongly with their object naming for frequency-matched items, with no patient showing better-than-expected naming of colours relative to objects. In Experiment 2, where patients were asked to colour black-and-white line drawings of common objects, all patients were impaired relative to controls, and performance correlated strongly with degree of semantic deficit. The fact that patients often erroneously selected green for fruits or vegetables, and brown for animals, suggests some preservation of general knowledge about the colours that typify a given domain. In Experiment 3, patients were given pairs of identical line drawings of familiar animals, fruits and vegetables—one of each pair coloured correctly, and one incorrectly—and were asked to choose the correct one. When the target's colour was characteristic of the domain, patients scored well; but when the distractor had a typical hue and the target's colour was unusual (e.g. a green versus an orange carrot), performance was far poorer. The results are discussed with reference to alternative theories about the neural basis of conceptual knowledge.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Systems Immunity Research Institute (SIURI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Semantic dementia; Semantic memory; Object recognition; Colour knowledge; Concepts; Temporal lobes
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0028-3932
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:08
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/33400

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