According to the Perceptual Symbols Theory of cognition (Barsalou, 1999), modality-specific simulations underlie the representation of concepts. A strong prediction of this view is that perceptual processing affects conceptual processing. In this study, participants performed a perceptual detection task and a conceptual property-verification task in alternation. Responses on the property-verification task were slower for those trials that were preceded by a perceptual trial in a different modality than for those that were preceded by a perceptual trial in the same modality. This finding of a modality-switch effect across perceptual processing and conceptual processing supports the hypothesis that perceptual and conceptual representations are partially based on the same systems.

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Keywords Concepts, Embodied cognition, Modality-switch effect, Perception, Property verification
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van Dantzig, S, Pecher, D, Zeelenberg, R, & Barsalou, L.W. (2008). Perceptual processing affects conceptual processing. Cognitive Science: a multidisciplinary journal, 32(3), 579–590. doi:10.1080/03640210802035365