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Motion detection and motion verbs: language affects low-level visual perception

Meteyard, L., Bahrami, B. and Vigliocco, G. (2007) Motion detection and motion verbs: language affects low-level visual perception. Psychological Science, 18 (11). pp. 1007-1013. ISSN 0956-7976

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.02016.x


Recent theories propose that semantic representation and sensorimotor processing have a common substrate via simulation. We tested the prediction that comprehension interacts with perception, using a standard psychophysics methodology.While passively listening to verbs that referred to upward or downward motion, and to control verbs that did not refer to motion, 20 subjects performed a motion-detection task, indicating whether or not they saw motion in visual stimuli containing threshold levels of coherent vertical motion. A signal detection analysis revealed that when verbs were directionally incongruent with the motion signal, perceptual sensitivity was impaired. Word comprehension also affected decision criteria and reaction times, but in different ways. The results are discussed with reference to existing explanations of embodied processing and the potential of psychophysical methods for assessing interactions between language and perception.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
ID Code:17124
Publisher:Sage Publications

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