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What are the consequences of calling things by their names? Six experiments investigated how classifying familiar objects with basic-level names (chairs, tables, and lamps) affected recognition memory. Memory was found to be worse for items that were overtly classified with the category name--as reflected by lower hit rates--compared with items that were(More)
How does language impact cognition and perception? A growing number of studies show that language, and specifically the practice of labeling, can exert extremely rapid and pervasive effects on putatively non-verbal processes such as categorization, visual discrimination, and even simply detecting the presence of a stimulus. Progress on the empirical front,(More)
Linguistic labels (e.g., "chair") seem to activate visual properties of the objects to which they refer. Here we investigated whether language-based activation of visual representations can affect the ability to simply detect the presence of an object. We used continuous flash suppression to suppress visual awareness of familiar objects while they were(More)
Why are people more irritated by nearby cell-phone conversations than by conversations between two people who are physically present? Overhearing someone on a cell phone means hearing only half of a conversation--a "halfalogue." We show that merely overhearing a halfalogue results in decreased performance on cognitive tasks designed to reflect the(More)
In addition to having communicative functions, verbal labels may play a role in shaping concepts. Two experiments assessed whether the presence of labels affected category formation. Subjects learned to categorize "aliens" as those to be approached or those to be avoided. After accuracy feedback on each response was provided, a nonsense label was either(More)
storage and circadian rhythms. Memory and learning have been studied in squirrels that cache their food, sometimes not returning until the next year. Singing mice provide a new model for studying speech and learning. Studies of wild rodents will undoubtedly give us a window into the genetics underlying phenotypic variation, further promoted by genome(More)
Signed languages exhibit iconicity (resemblance between form and meaning) across their vocabulary, and many non-Indo-European spoken languages feature sizable classes of iconic words known as ideophones. In comparison, Indo-European languages like English and Spanish are believed to be arbitrary outside of a small number of onomatopoeic words. In three(More)
sequence of letters by thinking of a sentence containing words that begin with those letters, or learning to tie a knot by thinking of a rabbit going in and out of a hole), and (2) explicit verbal mediation, i.e., " thinking in words. " Indeed, this intro-spection of thinking in words is often so strong that it leads researchers to conflate that feeling of(More)
Do conceptual categories affect basic visual processing? A conceptual grouping effect for familiar stimuli is reported using a visual search paradigm. Search through conceptually-homogeneous non-targets was faster and more efficient than search through conceptually-heterogeneous non-targets. This effect cannot be attributed to perceptual factors and is not(More)