Conceptual space

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This paper describes the essential cognitive and neurobiological relationships between spatial structure (SpS) and conceptual structure (CS), as relevant for language. We provide evidence that SpS and its underlying anatomical regions (ventral premotor cortex and posterior parietal cortex) are the essential evolutionary precursors of CS and the brain areas that in turn underlie it, namely Broca’s area and the parietal-occipital-temporal junction (POT). We outline a scenario in which a restricted class of SpS primitives – defined as the subset of inherent, action-related spatial property representations of body parts, objects, and extrapersonal locations – translates evolutionarily into the fundamental class of primitives (including Theme, Location, Source, and Goal) that define the content and organization of the spatial tier of CS.


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