In 2 experiments, the authors investigated the ability of high- and low-span comprehenders to construe subtle shades of meaning through perceptual representation. High- and low-span comprehenders responded to pictures that either matched or mismatched a target object's shape as implied by the preceding sentence context. At 750 ms after hearing the sentence describing the target object, both high- and low-span comprehenders had activated a contextually appropriate perceptual representation of the target object. However, only high-span comprehenders had perceptually represented the contextually appropriate meaning immediately upon hearing the sentence, whereas low-span comprehenders required more processing time before the perceptual representation was activated. The results are interpreted in a framework of co-occurring lexical representations and perceptual-motor representations. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved.

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Keywords Individual differences, Language comprehension, Lexical ambiguity, Perceptual representations, Processing time, Sentences, Span comprehenders
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Journal Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Madden, C.J, & Zwaan, R.A. (2006). Perceptual representation as a mechanism of lexical ambiguity resolution: An investigation of Span and processing time. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition (Vol. 32, pp. 1291–1303). doi:10.1037/0278-7393.32.6.1291