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WIREs Cogn Sci
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Semantics and cognition

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The words and grammar of any language encode a vast array of complex prepackaged concepts, most of them language‐specific and culture‐related. These concepts are manipulated routinely in almost every waking hour of most people's lives. They are largely acquired in infancy and they are intersubjectively shared among members of the speech community. It is hard to imagine such elaborate and variable representation systems not having a substantial role to play in ordinary cognition, and yet the language‐and‐thought question continues to be a contested one across the various disciplines and sub‐disciplines of cognitive science. This article provides an overview from the vantage point of linguistic semantics. WIREs Cogni Sci 2011 2 125–135 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.101

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Stan Klein

Stan Klein

Dr. Stan Klein’s research revolves around understanding self, memory, and consciousness. Klein argues that the unitary self of everyday experience actually is a multiplicity. For example, within memory, there are various, functionally independent systems of self-knowledge, including semantic personal facts, abstract trait self-knowledge, and episodic narratives.  Another aspect of self is its subjectivity. This form of consciousness interacts with the neurally-based aspects of self to produce the human experience of self.

Dr. Klein believes that we need to move beyond studying memory content and focus on how that content is presented to awareness. He argues that it is the manner in which content is apprehended by awareness that determines whether we experience content as episodic or semantic.

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