Where Do Semantic Errors Come From?

Alfonso Caramazza, Argye E. Hillis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We report the performance of two brain-damaged subjects (RGB and HW) whose frequent errors in spoken production are. nearly always semantically related to the target word. Both subjects show similar, high rates of these “semantic” errors in oral naming and oral reading; yet neither subject makes semantic errors in comparable written tasks. Further, results of a variety of lexical tasks with the same stimuli demonstrate unimpaired comprehension of printed or spoken words, including those that are orally produced as semantic errors. These patterns of performance are interpreted as resulting from damage to the phonological output lexicon. The postulated deficit is contrasted to the hypothesis of impairment to the lexical-semantic component, required to explain performance by brain-damaged subjects described elsewhere who make seemingly identical types of oral production errors to those of RGB and HW, but, in addition, make comparable errors in writing and comprehension tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-122
Number of pages28
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Where Do Semantic Errors Come From?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this