The nature of the visual environment induces implicit biases during language-mediated visual search
SourceMemory & Cognition, 39, 6, (2011), pp. 1068-1084
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC [ozi]
SW OZ BSI OLO
Memory & Cognition
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 1: Language and Communication; Learning and Plasticity; Psycholinguistics
Four eyetracking experiments examined whether semantic and visual-shape representations are routinely retrieved from printed word displays and used during language-mediated visual search. Participants listened to sentences containing target words that were similar semantically or in shape to concepts invoked by concurrently displayed printed words. In Experiment 1, the displays contained semantic and shape competitors of the targets along with two unrelated words. There were significant shifts in eye gaze as targets were heard toward semantic but not toward shape competitors. In Experiments 2-4, semantic competitors were replaced with unrelated words, semantically richer sentences were presented to encourage visual imagery, or participants rated the shape similarity of the stimuli before doing the eyetracking task. In all cases, there were no immediate shifts in eye gaze to shape competitors, even though, in response to the Experiment 1 spoken materials, participants looked to these competitors when they were presented as pictures (Huettig & McQueen, 2007). There was a late shape-competitor bias (more than 2,500 ms after target onset) in all experiments. These data show that shape information is not used in online search of printed word displays (whereas it is used with picture displays). The nature of the visual environment appears to induce implicit biases toward particular modes of processing during language-mediated visual search.
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