Constraining claims about theories of semantic memory: More on unitary versus multiple semantics

Argye E. Hillis, Brenda Rapp, Alfonso Caramazza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


In Caramazza, Hillis, Rapp, and Romani (1990) we proposed that the various patterns of impaired performance that have been used to motivate proposals of modality-specific semantics can, instead, be accommodated by an amodal unitary semantics account—the Organised Unitary Content Hypothesis (OUCH). Chertkow, Bub, and Caplan (1992), based on their study of the performance of seven patients with dementia of the Alzheimer’s type, reported data that are supposedly problematic for OUCH. Here we respond by showing that Chertkow and colleagues have misinterpreted our proposal on a number of points and that, in fact, the “problematic” results can be easily accounted for within OUCH. Chertkow et al. made the further claim that their results favour an alternative model of semantic processing, according to which the processing of perceptual-functional semantic information is distinguished from the processing of associative semantic information. We argue here that until Chertkow et al. specify a number of critical features of their proposal it will not be possible to evaluate their claims.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
JournalCognitive neuropsychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Constraining claims about theories of semantic memory: More on unitary versus multiple semantics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this