ERIC Number: EJ772603
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Simulating Visibility during Language Comprehension
Yaxley, Richard H.; Zwaan, Rolf A.
Cognition, v105 n1 p229-236 Oct 2007
In this study, participants performed a sentence-picture verification task in which they read sentences about an agent viewing an object (e.g., moose) through a differentially occlusive medium (e.g., clean vs. fogged goggles), and then verified whether a subsequently pictured object was mentioned in the previous sentence. Picture verification latencies were shorter when the resolution of the pictured object and the resolution implied by the sentence matched than when they did not. These results suggest that the degree of visibility implied in linguistic context can influence immediate object interpretation. These data suggest that readers mentally simulate the visibility of objects during language comprehension. Thus, the simulation of linguistic descriptions is not limited to the activation of intrinsic object properties (e.g., object shape), but also invokes the perceptibility of referential objects given implied environmental context.
Descriptors: Linguistics, Comprehension, Sentences, Cognitive Processes, Language Acquisition, Visual Stimuli, Interpretive Skills, Simulation, Critical Reading
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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