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Recently developed accounts of language comprehension propose that sentences are understood by constructing a perceptual simulation of the events being described. These simulations involve the re-activation of patterns of brain activation that were formed during the comprehender's interaction with the world. In two experiments we explored the specificity of(More)
Eighty-two participants listened to sentences and then judged whether two sequentially presented visual objects were the same. On critical trials, participants heard a sentence describe the motion of a ball toward or away from the observer (e.g., " The pitcher hurled the softball to you "). Seven hundred and fifty milliseconds after the offset of the(More)
Older and younger participants read sentences about objects and were then shown a picture of an object that either matched or mismatched the implied shape of the object in the sentence. Participants' response times were recorded when they judged whether the object had been mentioned in the sentence. Responses were faster in the shape-matching condition for(More)
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(More)
The authors examined how situation models are updated during text comprehension. If comprehenders keep track of the evolving situation, they should update their models such that the most current information, the here and now, is more available than outdated information. Contrary to this updating hypothesis, E. J. O'Brien, M. L. Rizzella, J. E. Albrecht, and(More)
This study examined the effects of age and reading span on the ability to use contextual constraints during language comprehension. Older and younger participants listened to sentences over headphones and named pictures that appeared subsequently. Older adults named pictures faster when the preceding sentence context matched rather than mismatched the shape(More)
Previous studies (e.g., Pecher, Zeelenberg, & Wagenmakers, 2005) found that semantic classification performance is better for target words with orthographic neighbors that are mostly from the same semantic class (e.g., living) compared to target words with orthographic neighbors that are mostly from the opposite semantic class (e.g., nonliving). In the(More)
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