The Biology of Meaning

R. Walter Heinrichs

in In Search of Madness

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195122190
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865482 | DOI:
 The Biology of Meaning

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The frontal and temporal lobes, along with the basal ganglia, are the most intensively studied regions of the brain in relation to schizophrenia. This chapter describes the behavioral and biological characteristics of the temporal lobes, with a focus on the left temporal area. It shows that some psychological functions associated with the left temporal lobe, notably memory but also language comprehension and selective attention, are probably deficient in about three-quarters of schizophrenia patients. Although there is no replicated evidence of complete separation of patient and healthy samples, the findings of disturbed semantic processing in many patients are substantial in magnitude. On the other hand, there is no evidence that defective temporal lobe cognition is a necessary part of schizophrenia. There are substantial numbers of patients with the illness who perform normally on these tests.

Keywords: schizophrenia; temporal lobe; semantic brain; left temporal area; frontal lobe; basal gaglia

Chapter.  13982 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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