When cognitive neuropsychologists make inferences about the functional architecture of the normal mind from selective cognitive impairments they generally assume that the effects of brain damage are local, that is, that the nondamaged components of the architecture continue to function as they did before the damage. This assumption follows from the view that the components of the functional architecture are modular, in the sense of being informationally encapsulated. In this target article it is argued that this “locality” assumption is probably not correct in general. Inferences about the functional architecture can nevertheless be made from neuropsychological data with an alternative set of assumptions, according to which human information processing is graded, distributed, and interactive. These claims are supported by three examples of neuropsychological dissociations and a comparison of the inferences obtained from these impairments with and without the locality assumption. The three dissociations are: selective impairments in knowledge of living things, disengagment of visual attention, and overt face recognition. In all three cases, the neuropsychological phenomena lead to more plausible inferences about the normal functional architecture when the locality assumption is abandoned. Also discussed are the relations between the locality assumption in neuropsychology and broader issues, including Fodor's modularity hypothesis and the choice between top-down and bottom-up research approaches.