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Semantic Disorders

Semantic knowledge refers to general knowledge about language and the world accumulated over a lifetime of experiences. In linguistics, the term semantics is often applied exclusively to verbal meaning, while in neuroscience, it is more commonly used to refer to verbal and nonverbal aspects of knowledge. The latter definition is adopted in this entry. People’s semantic knowledge about cats, for example, includes knowledge built up over many experiences with different types of cat, and their understanding of the word cat develops from experiencing its use in language in many different contexts. They also learn the associations between the word and the various sensory–motor experiences one might have when encountering its referents in the real world (e.g., the appearance of a four-legged creature, the sound of ...

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