Behavioural Neurology

Behavioural Neurology / 2013 / Article
Special Issue

Neuropsychology across the Lifespan: Proceedings of the Third Meeting of the Federation of European Societies of Neuropsychology

View this Special Issue

Open Access

Volume 26 |Article ID 592912 |

J. Frederico Marques, "The Role of Feature Sharedness in the Hierarchical Organization of Semantic Knowledge", Behavioural Neurology, vol. 26, Article ID 592912, 3 pages, 2013.

The Role of Feature Sharedness in the Hierarchical Organization of Semantic Knowledge

Received21 May 2012
Accepted21 May 2012


Data from neuropsychological research suggest that categorizing objects at different levels of specificity requires different cognitive and neural processes. This short paper presents and discusses a theoretical hypothesis for this organization in terms of feature sharedness. It is proposed that superordinate concepts involve a larger absolute number of exemplars that share a particular feature, thus making them more resistant to damage than basic level concepts (i.e. superordinate advantage). Simultaneously, in relative terms, features are less shared overall by superordinate members than by basic level members, which imply higher executive requirements and can conversely lead to superordinate deficits. This hypothesis is discussed in relation to behavioral data from semantic dementia and stroke aphasia patients and fMRI data from healthy subjects that support the role of feature sharedness in the hierarchical organization of semantic knowledge.

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

More related articles

 PDF Download Citation Citation
 Order printed copiesOrder

We are committed to sharing findings related to COVID-19 as quickly as possible. We will be providing unlimited waivers of publication charges for accepted research articles as well as case reports and case series related to COVID-19. Review articles are excluded from this waiver policy. Sign up here as a reviewer to help fast-track new submissions.