According to the original “hub-and-spoke” model of conceptual representations, the neural network for semantic memory requires a single convergence zone located in the anterior temporal lobes (ATLs). However, a more recent version of this model acknowledges that a graded specialization of the left and right ATLs might emerge as a consequence of their differential connectivity with language and sensory-motor regions. A recent influential paper maintained that both the format of semantic representations (representational account) and their differential connectivity (connectivity account) could contribute to the cognitive consequences of atrophy to the left versus the right ATL atrophy. That paper, however, also raised questions as to whether the distinction between representational and connectivity accounts is a meaningful question. I argue that an important theoretical difference exists between the representational and the connectivity-based models and that investigations, based on this difference, should allow to choose between these alternative accounts.
- Semantic dementia
- anterior temporal lobes
- asymmetry of atrophy
- category-specific semantic disorders
- representional and connectivity models