Some of the material in is restricted to members of the community. By logging in, you may be able to gain additional access to certain collections or items. If you have questions about access or logging in, please use the form on the Contact Page.
Recent studies have drawn a close relationship between visual perception and language, showing, for example, that readers respond faster to a picture of a flying eagle than a perched eagle after a sentence that implicitly constrains the eagle's shape (Zwaan, Stanfield, & Yaxley, 2002). The present experiments pursue an ecologically-stronger design, showing how incidentally acquired connections between perceptual and linguistic experiential traces in the cognitive network can automatically affect later language comprehension. Two phases were employed here: a phase exposing participants to pictures of critical objects and a later, ostensibly unrelated reading phase. Reading times in Experiment 1 and 2 were faster when the implied shape of objects in text passages matched the shape in first phase pictures. The introduction of an articulatory suppression task in the first phase of Experiment 3, however, produced no similar advantage for the match condition in the subsequent reading tasks. These results are explained as the effect of coding mismatches between phases as well as possible strategy differences between participants. Future directions of study are proposed to provide a clearer test of two competing models of language comprehension.