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date: 16 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Concepts and word meaning are fundamental to nearly all aspects of human cognition. People use this knowledge daily to recognize entities and objects in their environment, generate expectancies for upcoming events, and interpret language. In this chapter, we review contemporary research in semantic memory. Our discussion is restricted to the meaning of individual words, focusing on recent experimental results and theoretical trends. Over the past number of years, semantic memory research has blossomed for a number of reasons, and our goal is to provide the reader with a feel for the exciting research and theoretical approaches that have resulted. The chapter deals primarily with the following topics: implications of grounded cognition for semantic memory, neural organization of concepts, the importance of people’s knowledge of everyday events for semantic memory, distinctions among semantic and associative relations, research on abstract concepts, connectionist models of semantic computations, and distributional models of semantic representations.

Keywords: semantic memory models, grounded cognition, neural organization, semantic relations

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