OBJECTIVE - Cortical processing involved in seemingly similar tasks may differ in important ways. The authors mapped cortical regions engaged in a commonly performed picture naming task, seeking differences by semantic category. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used during presentation of standardized line drawings in 18 healthy right-handed female participants, comparing living versus nonliving entities. During visual naming, across categories there was strong activation of left frontal (BA45/47), bilateral temporo-occipital junction (BA19), and inferior temporal regions (BA36/37). Activation of right inferior temporal cortex (BA19 and BA37) was greater during naming of living versus nonliving category items. No category differences in activation strength in the left temporal lobe were observed. The authors conclude that visual semantic operations may involve visual association cortex in the right temporal lobe in women.