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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)
We investigated the relative contribution of perfective and imperfective aspectual cues on situation models. In Experiment 1, participants were more likely to choose pictures showing completed events than pictures showing ongoing events when they had read perfective sentences, but chose either picture after reading imperfective sentences. In Experiment 2,(More)
We investigated the question of whether comprehenders mentally simulate a described situation even when this situation is explicitly negated in the sentence. In two experiments, participants read negative sentences such as There was no eagle in the sky, and subsequently responded to pictures of mentioned entities in the context of a recognition task.(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they should update their models such that the most current information, the here and now, is more available than outdated information.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 article addresses issues in embodied sentence processing from a "cognitive neural systems" approach that combines analysis of the behavior in question, analysis of the known neurophysiological bases of this behavior, and the synthesis of a neuro-computational model of embodied sentence processing that can be applied to and tested in the context of(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)
Narrative descriptions of events often depart from how these events would have occurred in "real time." For example, narratives often contain time shifts in which events that are irrelevant to the plot are omitted. Zwaan (1996) has shown that these time shifts may affect on-line comprehension. Specifically, they are associated with increases in processing(More)
Two experiments investigate the influence of verb aspect on situation representations. The results demonstrate that comprehenders use verb aspect as a cue to regulate the activation of ongoing simulations of situations over time. Experiment 1 measured word-by-word reading as well as sensibility judgements on sentences in which a target object word had been(More)