Perceptual simulation in developing language comprehension
We tested an embodied account of language proposing that comprehenders create perceptual simulations of the events they hear and read about. In Experiment 1, children (ages 7-13. years) performed a picture verification task. Each picture was preceded by a prerecorded spoken sentence describing an entity whose shape or orientation matched or mismatched the depicted object. Responses were faster for matching pictures, suggesting that participants had formed perceptual-like situation models of the sentences. The advantage for matching pictures did not increase with age. Experiment 2 extended these findings to the domain of written language. Participants (ages 7-10. years) of high and low word reading ability verified pictures after reading sentences aloud. The results suggest that even when reading is effortful, children construct a perceptual simulation of the described events. We propose that perceptual simulation plays a more central role in developing language comprehension than was previously thought.
|Keywords||Embodied cognition, Language comprehension, Language development, Perceptual simulation, Reading comprehension, Word reading|
|Persistent URL||dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2011.06.009, hdl.handle.net/1765/30912|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Child Psychology|
Engelen, J.A.A, Bouwmeester, S, de Bruin, A.B.H, & Zwaan, R.A. (2011). Perceptual simulation in developing language comprehension. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 110(4), 659–675. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2011.06.009