The assumptions of cognitive neuropsychology: reflections on Caramazza (1984, 1986)

Max Coltheart*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Approximately 30 years ago, Caramazza (1984. The logic of neuropsychological research and the problem of patient classification in aphasia. Brain and Language, 21, 9–20; 1986. On drawing inferences about the structure of normal cognitive systems from the analysis of patterns of impaired performance. Brain and Language, 5, 41–66) proposed that cognitive neuropsychology needs to make four assumptions in order for its inferences from pathological performance to the structure of intact cognitive systems to be justifiable. These assumptions were: fractionation, modularity, transparency and universality. Analysis of the current status of these assumptions leads me to conclude that all four remain defensible today.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)397-402
    Number of pages6
    JournalCognitive Neuropsychology
    Issue number7-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • modularity
    • fractionation
    • cognitive universality
    • transparency
    • subtractivity


    Dive into the research topics of 'The assumptions of cognitive neuropsychology: reflections on Caramazza (1984, 1986)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this