ERIC Number: EJ1056541
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
Embodiment during Reading: Simulating a Story Character's Linguistic Actions
Gunraj, Danielle N.; Drumm-Hewitt, April M.; Klin, Celia M.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v40 n2 p364-375 Mar 2014
According to theories of embodied cognition, a critical element in language comprehension is the formation of sensorimotor simulations of the actions and events described in a text. Although much of the embodied cognition research has focused on simulations of motor actions, we ask whether readers form simulations of story characters' linguistic actions. For example, when a character is described as speaking, do readers form an auditory image of the character's words? Furthermore, if a character is described as reading, do readers form a visual image of the words on the page? In 4 experiments, a character was described as either reading or speaking, quickly or slowly. Critically, participants either read silently or read aloud so that their action matched or mismatched the character's action. Consistent with the action-sentence compatibility effect (Glenberg & Kaschak, 2002), only when the participant's and the character's actions matched--when both were reading or both were speaking--was a rate effect found, with participants reading/speaking more slowly when the character was described as reading/speaking slowly. We conclude that comprehension of a character's linguistic action involves the same types of sensorimotor simulations as have been shown across a vast array of other types of actions.
Descriptors: Reader Text Relationship, Schemata (Cognition), Human Body, Imagery, Reading Comprehension, Simulation, Story Reading, Oral Reading, Silent Reading, Experiments, Undergraduate Students, Hypothesis Testing, Motor Reactions, Language Processing
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York