Enhancement and suppression: effects resulting from information structuring in sentences

Sanford, A.J.S., Price, J. and Sanford, A.J. (2009) Enhancement and suppression: effects resulting from information structuring in sentences. Memory and Cognition, 37(6), pp. 880-888. (doi:10.3758/MC.37.6.880)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/MC.37.6.880


Information structuring through the use of cleft sentences increases the processing efficiency of references to elements within the scope of focus. Furthermore, there is evidence that putting certain types of emphasis on individual words not only enhances their subsequent processing, but also protects these words from becoming suppressed in the wake of subsequent information, suggesting mechanisms of enhancement and suppression. In Experiment 1, we showed that clefted constructions facilitate the integration of subsequent sentences that make reference to elements within the scope of focus, and that they decrease the efficiency with reference to elements outside of the scope of focus. In Experiment 2, using an auditory text-change-detection paradigm, we showed that focus has similar effects on the strength of memory representations. These results add to the evidence for enhancement and suppression as mechanisms of sentence processing and clarify that the effects occur within sentences having a marked focus structure.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sanford, Professor Anthony
Authors: Sanford, A.J.S., Price, J., and Sanford, A.J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Memory and Cognition
Publisher:Psychonomic Society
ISSN (Online):1532-5946
Published Online:28 December 2010

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
362761Stylistics, text analysis and cognitive science - interdisciplinary perspectives on the nature of readingCatherine EmmottThe Arts & Humanities Research BoardAHRB-POSTCRIT - ENGLISH LANGUAGE