Noun and knowledge retrieval for biological and non-biological entities following right occipitotemporal lesions
Number of pages
SourceNeuropsychologia, 62, (2014), pp. 163-174
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC PL
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 1: Language and Communication; Psycholinguistics
We investigated the critical contribution of right ventral occipitotemporal cortex to knowledge of visual and functional-associative attributes of biological and non-biological entities and how this relates to category-specificity during confrontation naming. In a consecutive series of 7 patients with lesions confined to right ventral occipitotemporal cortex, we conducted an extensive assessment of oral generation of visual-sensory and functional-associative features in response to the names of biological and nonbiological entities. Subjects also performed a confrontation naming task for these categories. Our main novel finding related to a unique case with a small lesion confined to right medial fusiform gyrus who showed disproportionate naming impairment for nonbiological versus biological entities, specifically for tools. Generation of visual and functional-associative features was preserved for biological and non-biological entities. In two other cases, who had a relatively small posterior lesion restricted to primary visual and posterior fusiform cortex, retrieval of visual attributes was disproportionately impaired compared to functional-associative attributes, in particular for biological entities. However, these cases did not show a category-specific naming deficit. Two final cases with the largest lesions showed a classical dissociation between biological versus nonbiological entities during naming, with normal feature generation performance. This is the first lesion-based evidence of a critical contribution of the right medial fusiform cortex to tool naming. Second, dissociations along the dimension of attribute type during feature generation do not co-occur with category-specificity during naming in the current patient sample.
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