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Representing object colour in language comprehension

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2007
<mark>Journal</mark>Cognition
Issue number3
Volume102
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)476-485
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Embodied theories of cognition hold that mentally representing something red engages the neural subsystems that respond to environmental perception of that colour. This paper examines whether implicit perceptual information on object colour is represented during sentence comprehension even though doing so does not necessarily facilitate task performance. After reading a sentence that implied a particular colour for a given object, participants were presented with a picture of the object that either matched or mismatched the implied colour. When asked if the pictured object was mentioned in the preceding sentence, people's responses were faster when the colours mismatched than when they matched, suggesting that object colour is represented differently to other object properties such as shape and orientation. A distinction between stable and unstable embodied representations is proposed to allow embodied theories to account for these findings.