Proper Names as a Topic of Cognitive Neuroscience
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proper names
common names
double dissociation
cognitive neuroscience
mental lexicon
Baker and baker paradox


This descriptive review presents proper names from the perspective of brain science. It contains the characteristics of individual groups of proper nouns (and common nouns for comparison) and takes account of their neurobiological background. This makes it possible to confirm many opinions on the status of proper names reported by linguists. The baker and baker paradox and the so-called double dissociation in the search of proper names and common names are discussed in order to confirm (at least in part) the thesis that proper names and common nouns are searched for in the mental lexicon independently of each other. The author also presents the characteristics of proper names to make a thesis about the uniqueness of this class of lexemes. It becomes clear that they are more difficult to learn, especially in patients with neurological deficits, and it takes healthy individuals longer to recall them than to search for common names. Moreover, the recollection of names is associated with more phonological mistakes and is often accompanied by the tip-of-the-tongue syndrome (TOT syndrome), which becomes most evident in elderly patients. The article also presents individual adaptive compensation techniques in impaired naming of objects and faces (e.g. aphasia), which facilitate the recreation of categories within the mental proper name lexicon.
PDF (Polski)


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