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Functional Features in Language and SpaceInsights from Perception, Categorization, and Development$
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Laura Carlson and Emile van der Zee

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199264339

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199264339.001.0001

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Adaptation of Perceptual and Semantic Features

Adaptation of Perceptual and Semantic Features

(p.257) 17 Adaptation of Perceptual and Semantic Features
Functional Features in Language and Space



Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the role of features in theories of concepts, perception, and language. Features are defined as psychological representations of properties of the world that can be processed independently of other properties and are relevant to a task, such as categorization. The classic view of features as entities that do not change over time is discussed. An alternative view is presented in which features are created and adapted according to the immediate goals and contexts of tasks, and over longer time periods in terms of perceptual and conceptual learning and development. It is shown that changes in the integral processing of the dimensions can be induced by tasks that favour the separate processing of one dimension. The findings support the claim that, like perceptual features, semantic features can be adapted during learning.

Keywords:   features, concepts, perceptions, language, categorization

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