What drives the organization of object knowledge in the brain?

Trends Cogn Sci. 2011 Mar;15(3):97-103. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2011.01.004.


Various forms of category-specificity have been described at both the cognitive and neural levels, inviting the inference that different semantic domains are processed by distinct, dedicated mechanisms. In this paper, we argue for an extension of a domain-specific interpretation to these phenomena that is based on network-level analyses of functional coupling among brain regions. On this view, domain-specificity in one region of the brain emerges because of innate connectivity with a network of regions that also process information about that domain. Recent findings are reviewed that converge with this framework, and a new direction is outlined for understanding the neural principles that shape the organization of conceptual knowledge.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / pathology
  • Humans
  • Knowledge*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Semantics
  • Twin Studies as Topic