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Comprehending sentences with the body: Action compatibility in British Sign Language?

Vinson, D; Perniss, P; Fox, N; Vigliocco, G; (2017) Comprehending sentences with the body: Action compatibility in British Sign Language? Cognitive Science , 41 (56) pp. 1377-1404. 10.1111/cogs.12397. Green open access

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Abstract

Previous studies show that reading sentences about actions leads to specific motor activity associated with actually performing those actions. We investigate how sign language input may modulate motor activation, using British Sign Language (BSL) sentences, some of which explicitly encode direction of motion, vs. written English, where motion is only implied. We find no evidence of action simulation in BSL comprehension (Experiments 1-3), but find effects of action simulation in comprehension of written English sentences by deaf native BSL signers (Experiment 4). These results provide constraints on the nature of mental simulations involved in comprehending action sentences referring to transfer events, suggesting that the richer contextual information provided by BSL sentences vs. written or spoken English may reduce the need for action simulation in comprehension, at least when the event described does not map completely onto the signer's own body.

Type: Article
Title: Comprehending sentences with the body: Action compatibility in British Sign Language?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/cogs.12397
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12397
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Keywords: sentence comprehension, embodiment, sign language, motor simulation, action compatibility
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1478091
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