Farah and McClelland 1991 model

Farah and McClelland (1991) produced a computational model based on a connectionist network. The model consists of two peripheral input systems (visual and verbal) and a semantic system. When an object is presented visually, this produces a unique pattern of activation within the visual input system. When the name of an object is presented, there is a unique pattern of activation within the verbal input system. There are no connections between the visual and verbal systems (see Figure 4.8). How is the model able to name objects? According to Farah and McClelland (1991), the visual and verbal systems are linked by a semantic system, and object naming involves information proceeding from the visual system to the semantic system and on to the verbal system.

One of the key features of the computer model is that the semantic system is divided into visual and functional or semantic units. There are three times as many of the former as of the latter, and all the units in the semantic system are interconnected. The visual units possess information about the visual characteristics of objects (e.g., bananas are yellow; people have two legs). In contrast, the functional units possess semantic information about the uses of objects or about appropriate ways of interacting with them (e.g., food is to be

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