To dash or to dawdle: verb-associated speed of motion influences eye movements during spoken sentence comprehension

Lindsay, S., Scheepers, C. and Kamide, Y. (2013) To dash or to dawdle: verb-associated speed of motion influences eye movements during spoken sentence comprehension. PLoS ONE, 8(6), e67187. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067187) (PMID:23805299) (PMCID:PMC3689699)

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Abstract

In describing motion events verbs of manner provide information about the speed of agents or objects in those events. We used eye tracking to investigate how inferences about this verb-associated speed of motion would influence the time course of attention to a visual scene that matched an event described in language. Eye movements were recorded as participants heard spoken sentences with verbs that implied a fast (“dash”) or slow (“dawdle”) movement of an agent towards a goal. These sentences were heard whilst participants concurrently looked at scenes depicting the agent and a path which led to the goal object. Our results indicate a mapping of events onto the visual scene consistent with participants mentally simulating the movement of the agent along the path towards the goal: when the verb implies a slow manner of motion, participants look more often and longer along the path to the goal; when the verb implies a fast manner of motion, participants tend to look earlier at the goal and less on the path. These results reveal that event comprehension in the presence of a visual world involves establishing and dynamically updating the locations of entities in response to linguistic descriptions of events.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Scheepers, Dr Christoph
Authors: Lindsay, S., Scheepers, C., and Kamide, Y.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1932-6203
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 8(6):e67187
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
538731Dynamic mental representationsChristoph ScheepersEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)RES-062-23-2842RI NEUROSCIENCE & PSYCHOLOGY