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Simulating Object Resolution during Language Comprehension

Title: Simulating Object Resolution during Language Comprehension.
Name(s): Yaxley, Richard H., author
Zwaan, Rolf A., professor directing thesis
Kelley, Colleen, committee member
Plant, Ashby, committee member
Department of Psychology, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2003
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This thesis investigates how linguistic cues implying varying levels of object resolution are mentally represented in sentences such as Through the smoky/empty bar, the bartender could hardly/easily read the clock. Such sentences contain an adjective that implies a level of obscurity (smoky, empty) and an adverbial phrase (hardly, easily) that describes the perceptual availability of an object (clock) to the protagonist. An experiment was designed to address the following question: Is the visual resolution of a textually described object simulated during sentence processing? Participants read sentences describing a protagonist viewing an object through either an obscure or clear medium (e.g., smoky/empty bar). After reading each sentence, participants judged whether a picture of the object in question was mentioned in the sentence. Responses were faster when the resolution of the pictured object matched the resolution implied by the sentence than when it did not match. Thus, linguistic context can influence the ease of object recognition. These data suggest that readers perceptually simulate the visual resolution of objects during language comprehension. Furthermore, the finding suggests that comprehenders adopt the perspective of the protagonist during the simulation of a described situation, rather than a thirdperson perspective.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-0980 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Science.
Degree Awarded: Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2003.
Date of Defense: Date of Defense: March 21, 2003.
Keywords: Linguistic Context, Object Recognition
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: Rolf A. Zwaan, Professor Directing Thesis; Colleen Kelley, Committee Member; Ashby Plant, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Psychology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Yaxley, R. H. (2003). Simulating Object Resolution during Language Comprehension. Retrieved from