Flexibility in Embodied Language Processing: Context Effects in Lexical Access

Topics in Cognitive Science 6 (3):407-424 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX


According to embodied theories of language (ETLs), word meaning relies on sensorimotor brain areas, generally dedicated to acting and perceiving in the real world. More specifically, words denoting actions are postulated to make use of neural motor areas, while words denoting visual properties draw on the resources of visual brain areas. Therefore, there is a direct correspondence between word meaning and the experience a listener has had with a word's referent on the brain level. Behavioral and neuroimaging studies have provided evidence in favor of ETLs; however, recent studies have also shown that sensorimotor information is recruited in a flexible manner during language comprehension (e.g., Raposo et al. ; Van Dam et al., ), leaving open the question as to what level of language processing sensorimotor activations contribute. In this study, we investigated the time course of modality‐specific contributions (i.e., the contribution of action information) as to word processing by manipulating both (a) the linguistic and (b) the action context in which target words were presented. Our results demonstrate that processes reflecting sensorimotor information play a role early in word processing (i.e., within 200 ms of word presentation), but that they are sensitive to the linguistic context in which a word is presented. In other words, when sensorimotor information is activated, it is activated quickly; however, specific words do not reliably activate a consistent sensorimotor pattern.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,907

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Asymmetry In Bilingual Lexical Processing Of Form Similar Words.Marija Vucinic - 2011 - Facta Universitatis, Series: Linguistics and Literature 9 (2):115-124.
Thinking in Words: Language as an Embodied Medium of Thought.Guy Dove - 2014 - Topics in Cognitive Science 6 (3):371-389.
Semantic processing for finite domains.Martha Stone Palmer - 1990 - New York: Cambridge University Press.


Added to PP

13 (#1,061,253)

6 months
7 (#486,539)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?