Inferences about action engage action systems

Taylor, Lawrence, Lev Ari, S. and Zwaan, Rolf (2008) Inferences about action engage action systems. Brain and Language, 107 (1). pp. 62-67. ISSN 0093-934X

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Verbal descriptions of actions activate compatible motor responses [Glenberg, A. M., & Kaschak, M. P. (2002). Grounding language in action. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 9, 558–565]. Previous studies have found that the motor processes for manual rotation are engaged in a direction-specific manner when a verb disambiguates the direction of rotation [e.g. “unscrewed;” Zwaan, R. A., & Taylor, L. (2006). Seeing, acting, understanding: Motor resonance in language comprehension. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 135, 1–11]. The present experiment contributes to this body of work by showing that verbs that leave direction ambiguous (e.g. “turned”) do not necessarily yield such effects. Rather, motor resonance is associated with a word that disambiguates some element of an action, as meaning is being integrated across sentences. The findings are discussed within the context of discourse processes, inference generation, motor activation, and mental simulation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: discourse processes, inference generation, motor resonance, mental simulation, embodied cognition
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 10 May 2010 10:31
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2017 11:35

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