Different neural systems for the recognition of animals and man-made tools

D. Perani, S. F. Cappa, V. Bettinardi, S. Bressi, M. Gorno-Tempini, M. Matarrese, F. Fazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using positron emission tomography, we mapped brain activity in normal volunteers during the recognition of visual stimuli representing living (animals) and nonliving (artefacts) entities. The subjects had to decide whether pairs of visual stimuli were different representations of the same object, or different objects. Animal recognition was associated with activations in the inferior temporo-occipital areas, bilaterally, whereas artefact recognition engaged a predominantly left hemispheric network, involving the left dorsolateral frontal cortex. These findings, which concur with clinical observations in neurological patients, provide in vivo evidence for a fractionation of the neural substrates of semantic knowledge in man.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1637-1641
Number of pages5
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Living and non-living categories
  • PET: Activation
  • Semantic knowledge
  • Visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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