Fine Motor Skills and Lexical Processing in Children and Adults

Frontiers in Psychology 12 (2021)
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Children’s fine motor skills link to cognitive development, however, research on their involvement in language processing, also with adults, is scarce. Lexical items are processed differently depending on the degree of sensorimotor information inherent in the words’ meanings, such as whether these imply a body-object interaction or a body-part association. Accordingly, three studies examined whether lexical processing was affected by FMS, BOIness, and body-part associations in children and adults. Analyses showed a differential link between FMS and lexical processing as a function of age. Whereas response latencies indicated that children’s FMS were associated with “hand” words, adults’ FMS linked to the broader concept of BOI. Findings have implications for shared activation theories positing that FMS support lexical processing.



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