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We report a new phenomenon associated with language comprehension: the action-sentence compatibility effect (ACE). Participants judged whether sentences were sensible by making a response that required moving toward or away from their bodies. When a sentence implied action in one direction (e.g., "Close the drawer" implies action away from the body), the(More)
In this article, we explore the nature of the conceptual knowledge retrieved when people use words to think about objects. If conceptual knowledge is used to simulate and guide action in the world, then how one can interact with an object should be reflected in the speed of retrieval and the content that is retrieved. This prediction was tested in three(More)
Four experiments are presented in which adults learned to comprehend a new syntactic construction in their native language. Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrate that adults quickly learn to comprehend the new construction and generalize it to new verbs. Experiment 3 shows that experience with the novel construction affects the processing of a construction(More)
The Indexical Hypothesis describes how sentences become meaningful through grounding their interpretation in action. We develop support for the hypothesis by examining how people understand innovative denominal verbs, that is, verbs made from nouns and first encountered by participants within the experiment (e.g., to crutch). Experiments 1 and 2(More)
When participants are asked to make sensibility judgments on sentences that describe action toward the body (i.e., "Mark dealt the cards to you") or away from the body (i.e., "You dealt the cards to Mark"), they are faster to respond when the response requires an arm movement in the same direction as the action described by the sentence. This congruence(More)
In two experiments, we explore how recent experience with particular syntactic constructions affects the strength of the structural priming observed for those constructions. The results suggest that (1) the strength of structural priming observed for double object and prepositional object constructions is affected by the relative frequency with which each(More)
Several recent papers have reported long-term structural priming effects in experiments where previous patterns of experience with the double object and prepositional object constructions are shown to affect later patterns of language production for those constructions. The experiments reported in this paper address the extent to which these long-term(More)
The 1990s were dubbed the "Decade of the Brain." During this time there was a marked increase in the amount of neuroimaging work observing how the brain accomplishes many tasks, including the processing of language. In this chapter we review the past 15 years of neuroimaging research on language production and comprehension. The findings of these studies(More)
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)
We assessed potential facilitation of congruent body posture on access to and retention of autobiographical memories in younger and older adults. Response times were shorter when body positions during prompted retrieval of autobiographical events were similar to the body positions in the original events than when body position was incongruent. Free recall(More)