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J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 2001 Jul;27(4):984-1002.

Journey to the center of the category: the dissociation in amnesia between categorization and recognition.

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Department of Psychology and Center for Cognitive Science, State University of New York at Buffalo, 14260, USA.


The authors' theoretical analysis of the dissociation in amnesia between categorization and recognition suggests these conclusions: (a) Comparing to-be-categorized items to a category center or prototype produces strong prototype advantages and steep typicality gradients, whereas comparing to-be-categorized items to the training exemplars that surround the prototype produces weak prototype advantages and flat typicality gradients; (b) participants often show the former pattern, suggesting their use of prototypes; (c) exemplar models account poorly for these categorization data, but prototype models account well for them; and (d) the recognition data suggest that controls use a single-comparison exemplar-memorization process more powerfully than amnesics. By pairing categorization based in prototypes with recognition based in exemplar memorization, the authors support and extend other recent accounts of cognitive performance that intermix prototypes and exemplars, and the authors reinforce traditional interpretations of the categorization-recognition dissociation in amnesia.

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