Chapter

The neurobiology of categorization

F. Gregory Ashby and Matthew J. Crossley

in The Making of Human Concepts

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199549221
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191724152 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199549221.003.05
The neurobiology of categorization

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Categorization is the act of responding differently to objects or events in separate classes or categories. It is a vitally important skill that allows us to approach friends and escape foes, to find food, and avoid toxins. The scientific study of categorization has a long history. For most of this time, the focus was on the cognitive processes that mediate categorization. Within the past decade, however, considerable attention has shifted to the study of the neural basis of categorization. This chapter reviews that work. It begins with a brief overview of the basal ganglia, which are a collection of subcortical nuclei that are especially important in categorization. It then focuses on initial category learning and considers the neural basis of automatic categorization judgements.

Keywords: category learning; basal ganglia; automatic categorization judgements; neurobiology

Chapter.  12014 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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