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The representation of semantic knowledge in a child with Williams syndrome

Robinson, Sally J and Temple, Christine M (2009) 'The representation of semantic knowledge in a child with Williams syndrome.' Cognitive Neuropsychology, 26 (3). pp. 307-337. ISSN 0264-3294

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This study investigated whether there are distinct types of semantic knowledge with distinct representational bases during development. The representation of semantic knowledge in a teenage child (S.T.) with Williams syndrome was explored for the categories of animals, fruit, and vegetables, manipulable objects, and nonmanipulable objects. S.T.'s lexical stores were of a normal size but the volume of “sensory feature” semantic knowledge she generated in oral descriptions was reduced. In visual recognition decisions, S.T. made more false positives to nonitems than did controls. Although overall naming of pictures was unimpaired, S.T. exhibited a category-specific anomia for nonmanipulable objects and impaired naming of visual-feature descriptions of animals. S.T.'s performance was interpreted as reflecting the impaired integration of distinctive features from perceptual input, which may impact upon nonmanipulable objects to a greater extent than the other knowledge categories. Performance was used to inform adult-based models of semantic representation, with category structure proposed to emerge due to differing degrees of dependency upon underlying knowledge types, feature correlations, and the acquisition of information from modality-specific processing modules.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Williams syndrome, Semantic representation, Category-specific, Sensory feature, Developmental
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2011 09:50
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:34

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