Heather J. Ferguson

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There is a growing body of evidence showing that conversational implicatures are rapidly accessed in incremental utterance interpretation. To date, studies showing incremental access have focussed on implicatures related to linguistic triggers, such as 'some' and 'or'. We discuss three kinds of on-line model that can account for this data. A model built(More)
Our primary objective was to identify techniques to transform the genome of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) with foreign DNA constructs. The strategy we adopted was to linearize foreign DNA and introduce it with sperm during the instrumental insemination of virgin queen honey bees. We analysed extracts from larvae within the same cohort and isolated the(More)
The ability to update our current knowledge using contextual information is a vital process during every-day language comprehension. To understand a negated statement, readers are required to cancel real-world expectations, but are not explicitly provided with an alternative model. Thus, the question of how and when a negative context influences(More)
A well-established finding in the simulation literature is that participants simulate the positive argument of negation soon after reading a negative sentence, prior to simulating a scene consistent with the negated sentence (Kaup, Ludtke, & Zwaan, 2006; Kaup, Yaxley, Madden, Zwaan, & Ludtke, 2007). One interpretation of this finding is that negation(More)
Although galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) is known to affect the speed and accuracy of visual judgments, the underlying electrophysiological response has not been explored. In the present study, we therefore investigated the effect of GVS on the N170 event-related potential, a marker commonly associated with early visual structural encoding. To elicit(More)
Interpreting others' actions relies on an understanding of their current mental state. Emerging research has begun to identify a number of factors that give rise to individual differences in this ability. We report an event-related brain potential study where participants (N = 28) read contexts that described a character having a true belief (TB) or false(More)
Imagining a counterfactual world using conditionals (e.g., If Joanne had remembered her umbrella . . .) is common in everyday language. However, such utterances are likely to involve fairly complex reasoning processes to represent both the explicit hypothetical conjecture and its implied factual meaning. Online research into these mechanisms has so far been(More)
Many contextual inferences in utterance interpretation are explained as following from the nature of conversation and the assumption that participants are rational. Recent psycholinguistic research has focussed on certain of these 'Gricean' inferences and have revealed that comprehenders can access them in online interpretation. However there have been(More)
Recent empirical research suggests that understanding a counterfactual event (e.g. 'If Josie had revised, she would have passed her exams') activates mental representations of both the factual and counterfactual versions of events. However, it remains unclear when readers switch between these models during comprehension, and whether representing multiple(More)
Person detection is an important prerequisite of social interaction, but is not well understood. Following suggestions that people in the visual field can capture a viewer's attention, this study examines the role of the face and the body for person detection in natural scenes. We observed that viewers tend first to look at the center of a scene, and only(More)