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Title: Perceptuomotor processing in language comprehension
Author: Lindsay, Shane
ISNI:       0000 0001 3610 5937
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2008
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Recent approaches to cognition have proposed that our understanding of the world and of language is rooted in our perceptual and motoric embodiment This thesis investigates a central idea of the embodied approach to cognition: that language comprehension prompts for the activation of perceptuomotor activity. This perceptuom'otor activity is thought to involve similar processes and brain areas to those in actual perceptioij and action. One problem for embodied approaches to cognition and language comprehension is how to account for abstract concepts and abstract language. Consequently, this thesis has two main goals. Firstly, it is to test and extend our existing knowledge of the role of perceptuomotor processing in language comprehension. A secondary aim is to investigate both theoretically and empirically whether the processing of abstract language involves perceptuomotor processing, given the idea that one important way in which we understand abstract language is through metaphoric projection from more concrete concepts. This thesis employs a variety of different psycholinguistic methodologies all using reaction time measures, in nine experiments. One set of studies investigate how language processing can interact with the execution of actions that are semantically related to words and sentences, and presents the Word Action Compatibility Effect A second set of experiments examines how irrelevant static and dynamic visuospatial information can affect the processing of words and sentences. A final chapter theoretically investigates claims of metaphoric structuring of the conceptual domain of quantity. The thesis represents a sustained investigation of key ideas in the embodied approach to language comprehension, develops new psycholinguistic methodologies and subjects a number of important theoretical ideas to empirical investigation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available