Size matters: bigger is faster

Sereno, S.C., O'Donnell, P.J. and Sereno, M.E. (2009) Size matters: bigger is faster. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62(6), pp. 1115-1122. (doi: 10.1080/17470210802618900)

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A largely unexplored aspect of lexical access in visual word recognition is “semantic size”—namely, the real-world size of an object to which a word refers. A total of 42 participants performed a lexical decision task on concrete nouns denoting either big or small objects (e.g., bookcase or teaspoon). Items were matched pairwise on relevant lexical dimensions. Participants' reaction times were reliably faster to semantically “big” versus “small” words. The results are discussed in terms of possible mechanisms, including more active representations for “big” words, due to the ecological importance attributed to large objects in the environment and the relative speed of neural responses to large objects.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sereno, Dr Sara and O'Donnell, Professor Patrick
Authors: Sereno, S.C., O'Donnell, P.J., and Sereno, M.E.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Journal Abbr.:Q. J. Exp. Psychol.
ISSN (Online):1747-0226

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