Research suggests that language comprehenders simulate visual features such as shape during language comprehension. In sentence-picture verification tasks, whenever pictures match the shape or orientation implied by the previous sentence, responses are faster than when the pictures mismatch implied visual aspects. However, mixed results have been demonstrated when the sentence-picture paradigm was applied to color (Connell, Cognition, 102(3), 476–485, 2007; Zwaan & Pecher, PLOS ONE, 7(12), e51382, 2012). One of the aims of the current investigation was to resolve this issue. This was accomplished by conceptually replicating the original study on color, using the same paradigm but a different stimulus set. The second goal of this study was to assess how much perceptual information is included in a mental simulation. We examined this by reducing color saturation, a manipulation that does not sacrifice object identifiability. If reduction of one aspect of color does not alter the match effect, it would suggest that not all perceptual information is relevant for a mental simulation. Our results did not support this: We found a match advantage when objects were shown at normal levels of saturation, but this match advantage disappeared when saturation was reduced, yet still aided in object recognition compared to when color was entirely removed. Taken together, these results clearly show a strong match effect for color, and the perceptual richness of mental simulations during language comprehension.

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Keywords Color, Language comprehension, Mental simulation, Perception
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Journal Memory and Cognition
Hoeben Mannaert, L.N. (Lara N.), Dijkstra, K, & Zwaan, R.A. (2017). Is color an integral part of a rich mental simulation?. Memory and Cognition, 1–9. doi:10.3758/s13421-017-0708-1