Listening to limericks: a pupillometry investigation of perceivers’ expectancy

Scheepers, C. , Mohr, S. , Fischer, M.H. and Roberts, A.M. (2013) Listening to limericks: a pupillometry investigation of perceivers’ expectancy. PLoS ONE, 8(9), e74986. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074986) (PMID:24086417) (PMCID:PMC3781151)

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What features of a poem make it captivating, and which cognitive mechanisms are sensitive to these features? We addressed these questions experimentally by measuring pupillary responses of 40 participants who listened to a series of Limericks. The Limericks ended with either a semantic, syntactic, rhyme or metric violation. Compared to a control condition without violations, only the rhyme violation condition induced a reliable pupillary response. An anomaly-rating study on the same stimuli showed that all violations were reliably detectable relative to the control condition, but the anomaly induced by rhyme violations was perceived as most severe. Together, our data suggest that rhyme violations in Limericks may induce an emotional response beyond mere anomaly detection.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mohr, Dr Sibylle and Scheepers, Dr Christoph
Authors: Scheepers, C., Mohr, S., Fischer, M.H., and Roberts, A.M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 8(9):e74986
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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