Structure of Semantic Memory

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Structure of Semantic Memory

Semantic memory is our knowledge about the world and language and how it can be seen as our internal dictionary and encyclopedia together as one entity. Throughout its origins, semantic memory has been compared to episodic memory. In contrast, episodic memory refers to knowledge that is temporary or spatial, which is identified in the terms of personal experiences. Within these two systems there are many different models. I am going to discuss Eleanor Rosch's prototype approach feature comparison model, Anderson’s ACT-R model, the Collins and Loftus’s network model, and the exemplar model. I will look to define each of the models through characterization methods, discuss problems within each model, and also explain which model I like the most.

In 1970, Eleanor Rosch developed a prototype theory which was a very different from the original semantics. This led to the set-theoretic approach of extensional or intentional semantics which evolved into a more definition based model. (Rosch et al, 1976) According to Rosch, the term prototype was defined during the study "Natural Categories" in 1973 and was first defined as a stimulus. A stimulus takes a salient position in the formation of a category as it is the first stimulus to be associated with that category. Later, she redefined it as the most central member of a category. “For example, when asked to give an example of the concept furniture, chair is more frequently cited than, say, stool. Prototype theory also plays a central role in linguistics, as part of the mapping from phonological structure to semantics.” (Rosch et al, 1976) I like her model the most because it actually deals with real life scenarios and real object instead of dealing with f...

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