Where do you know what you know? The representation of semantic knowledge in the human brain

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2007 Dec;8(12):976-87. doi: 10.1038/nrn2277.


Mr M, a patient with semantic dementia--a neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by the gradual deterioration of semantic memory--was being driven through the countryside to visit a friend and was able to remind his wife where to turn along the not-recently-travelled route. Then, pointing at the sheep in the field, he asked her "What are those things?" Prior to the onset of symptoms in his late 40s, this man had normal semantic memory. What has gone wrong in his brain to produce this dramatic and selective erosion of conceptual knowledge?

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / radiation effects*
  • Brain Mapping* / methods
  • Concept Formation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Semantics*