Testing the theory of embodied cognition with subliminal words

Autor(en): Ansorge, Ulrich 
Kiefer, Markus
Khalid, Shah 
Grassl, Sylvia
Koenig, Peter 
Stichwörter: BRAIN; CAUTIONARY TALE; Embodied cognition; LOCATION-RELEVANT TRIALS; MASKED STIMULI; Masking; MOTOR ACTIVATION; PERCEPTION; Priming; Psychology; Psychology, Experimental; SEMANTIC CATEGORIZATION; SPREADING ACTIVATION; STIMULUS-RESPONSE COMPATIBILITY; TOP-DOWN CONTINGENCIES
Erscheinungsdatum: 2010
Herausgeber: ELSEVIER
Journal: COGNITION
Volumen: 116
Ausgabe: 3
Startseite: 303
Seitenende: 320
Zusammenfassung: 
In the current study, we tested the embodied cognition theory (ECT). The ECT postulates mandatory sensorimotor processing of words when accessing their meaning. We test that prediction by investigating whether invisible (i.e., subliminal) spatial words activate responses based on their long-term and short-term meaning. Masking of the words is used to prevent word visibility and intentional elaboration of the words' semantic content. In this way, masking specifically isolates mandatory sensorimotor processing of words as predicted by the ECT. Do spatial subliminal words activate responses nonetheless? In Experiment 1, we demonstrate a spatial congruence effect of the invisible words if they precede visible target words. In Experiment 2, we show that masked words activate responses based on their long-term meaning. In Experiment 3, we demonstrate that masked words are also processed according to their short-term response meaning. We conclude that the ECT is supported by our findings and discuss implications of our results for embodied theories of semantic word processing and masked priming experiments. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
ISSN: 00100277
DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2010.05.010

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