Social groups have a representation of their own: Clues from neuropsychology

Raffaella I. Rumiati, Andrea Carnaghi, Erika Improta, Ana Laura Diez, Maria Caterina Silveri

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

9 Citazioni (Scopus)


The most relevant evidence for the organization of the conceptual knowledge in the brain was first provided by the patterns of deficits in brain-damaged individuals affecting one or another semantic category. Patients with various etiologies showed a disproportionate impairment in producing and understanding names of either living (fruits, vegetables, animals) or nonliving things (tools, vehicles, clothes). These double dissociations between spared and impaired recognition of living and nonliving things led to suggest that these categories are discretely represented in the brain. Recently social groups were found to be represented independently of traditional living and nonliving categories. Here we tested 21 patients with different types of primary dementia with three word sorting tasks tapping their conceptual knowledge about living and nonliving entities and social groups. Patients double dissociated in categorizing words belonging to the three categories. These findings clarify that knowledge about social groups is distinct from other semantic categories.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)85-96
Numero di pagine12
RivistaCognitive Neuroscience
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2014


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Category specificity
  • Concept Formation
  • Dementia
  • Humans
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Neuropsychology
  • Semantic knowledge
  • Semantics
  • Social stereotypes


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