Document Type


Publication Date

January 2001

Journal or Book Title

Journal of Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience




It is widely held that people use multiple strategies to categorize their experiences in the world. We conducted a pair of neuroimaging experiments to identify the neural correlates of two of these strategies--rule application and exemplar similarity. 23 Ss (aged 18-30 yrs) were instructed to perform either a rule- or an exemplar-based categorization task while changes in cerebral blood flow were measured using positron emission tomography. Patterns of neural activity were consistent with the predictions of cognitive models of rule- versus exemplar-based categorization and with existing neuroscience data. The identification of strategy-specific neural patterns offers future researchers a diagnostic tool for assessing strategy use in other situations.