NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ918141
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0169-0965
Representational Complexity and Memory Retrieval in Language Comprehension
Hofmeister, Philip
Language and Cognitive Processes, v26 n3 p376-405 2011
Mental representations formed from words or phrases may vary considerably in their feature-based complexity. Modern theories of retrieval in sentence comprehension do not indicate how this variation and the role of encoding processes should influence memory performance. Here, memory retrieval in language comprehension is shown to be influenced by a target's representational complexity in terms of syntactic and semantic features. Three self-paced reading experiments provide evidence that reading times at retrieval sites (but not earlier) decrease when more complex phrases occur as filler phrases in filler-gap dependencies. The data also show that complexity-based effects are not dependent on string length, syntactic differences, or the amount of processing the stimuli elicit. Activation boosting and reduced similarity-based interference are implicated as likely sources of these complexity-based effects. (Contains 1 table and 4 figures.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A