Location of Repository

System-level attention links cognition, perception and action: Evidence from language comprehension and eye movements

By Xierong Liu


The research reported in this thesis attempted to establish the underlying representational substrate within which cognition, perception and action interact. A theoretical framework was adopted in which attention functions at a system level as the mediating mechanism between cognitive functions and sensorimotor responses. This was achieved by addressing two issues: a) whether representations activated by language comprehension can compete with representations involved in eye movement control; and b) whether this competition creates attentional conflict within the system and thus modulates the oculomotor response. The effects of two types of words, directional verbs and locational nouns, on two types of eye movements, pursuit and saccades, were explored in nine eye-tracking experiments. Empirical findings suggested that a) eye velocity during pursuit was systematically modulated by verb semantics; depending on whether there was agreement or conflict between representations activated by the directional verbs and the oculomotor task, eye velocity was respectively increased or decreased; b) saccadic launch latency was consistently modified by verb semantics; saccades were initiated with reduced or increased latencies when representations involved in language comprehension and eye movement control were in accordance or in conflict with each other. This collection of evidence points to a unified, attention-governed system that encompasses cognition, perception and action

Publisher: Psychology (York)
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.whiterose.ac.uk:954

Suggested articles



  1. (1988). A comparison of the dynamics of horizontal and vertical smooth pursuit in normal human subjects.
  2. (2008). A dynamic representation of target motion drives predictive smooth pursuit during target blanking. doi
  3. (1999). A model of saccade generation based on parallel processing and competitive inhibition. doi
  4. (1986). A model of the smooth pursuit eye movement system. doi
  5. (1994). A model of visually-guided smooth pursuit eye movements based on behavioural observations. doi
  6. (2004). A system-level perspective on attention and cognitive control: Guided activation, adaptive gating, conflict monitoring, and exploitation vs. exploration.
  7. (2004). Actions and affordances in syntactic ambiguity resolution. doi
  8. (1990). Activation, competition, and frequency in lexical access. In G. Altmann (Eds.), Cognitive models of speech processing
  9. (1979). An analysis of the saccadic system by means of double step stimuli. doi
  10. (2001). An integrative theory of prefrontal cortex function.
  11. (1986). An introduction to cognitive grammar. doi
  12. (1993). Attention and control: Have we been asking the wrong questions. A critical review of the last twenty five years. In
  13. (1995). Attention and target selection for smooth pursuit eye movements. doi
  14. (1997). Blindness to response-compatible stimuli. doi
  15. (2005). Brain signatures of meaning access in action word recognition. doi
  16. (2008). Cognitive control of saccadic eye movements. doi
  17. (2008). Cognitive processes involved in smooth pursuit eye movements. doi
  18. (1996). Comparison of horizontal, vertical and diagonal smooth pursuit eye movements in normal human subjects. doi
  19. (1992). Comparison of predictable smooth ocular and combined eye-head tracking behaviour in patients with lesions affecting the brain stem and cerebellum. doi
  20. (1986). Computational cognition: Toward a foundation for cognitive science. doi
  21. (2000). Computational explorations in cognitive neuroscience: Understanding the mind by simulating the brain. doi
  22. (1994). Cortical systems for retrieval of concrete knowledge: The convergence zone framework.
  23. (2006). Differences in distractor-induced deviation between horizontal and vertical saccade trajectories. doi
  24. (2005). Direct evidence for a position input to the smooth pursuit system. doi
  25. (2009). Discourse-mediation of the mapping between language and the visual world: Eye movements and mental representation. doi
  26. (2006). Distractor interference during smooth pursuit eye movements. doi
  27. (2008). Effects of attention shifts to stationary objects during steady-state smooth pursuit eye movements. doi
  28. (1999). Effects of dual task demands on the accuracy of smooth pursuit eye movements. doi
  29. (2002). Elementary signal detection theory. doi
  30. (2008). Emotional scenes in peripheral vision: Selective orienting and gist processing, but not content identification. doi
  31. (1995). Evoked potentials distinguish between nouns and verbs. doi
  32. (2007). Experimental methods for simulation semantics. In doi
  33. (1967). Eye movements and vision. doi
  34. (2000). Eye movements during comprehension of spoken scene descriptions.
  35. (1976). Eye-tracking performance and engagement of attention. doi
  36. (2001). Functional neuroimaging of semantic memory. In doi
  37. (1989). Goldberg (Eds.), The neurobiology of saccadic eye movements
  38. (2002). Grounding language in action. doi
  39. (2007). Grounding symbolic operations in the brain’s modal systems. In doi
  40. (1992). Hand and mind. doi
  41. (2008). Head up, foot down: Object words orient attention to the object’s typical location. doi
  42. (2003). Human ocular pursuit during the transient disappearance of a visual target. doi
  43. (1972). Human problem solving. doi
  44. (1984). Human smooth and saccadic eye movements during voluntary pursuit of different target motions on different backgrounds.
  45. (1987). Human smooth pursuit: Stimulus-dependent responses.
  46. (1985). Inhibition of return: Neural basis and function. doi
  47. (1996). Initiation of saccades during fixation or pursuit: Evidence in humans for a single mechanism.
  48. (1995). Integration of visual and linguistic information in spoken language comprehension. doi
  49. (2004). Language-mediated eye movements in the absence of a visual world: The “blank screen paradigm”. doi
  50. (1982). Learning patterns of eye motion for foveal pursuit.
  51. (2002). Learning representations in a grated prefrontal cortex model of dynamic task switching. doi
  52. (2005). Listening to action related sentences modulates the activity of the motor system: A combined TMS and behavioural study. doi
  53. (2009). Mental simulation in language comprehension and social cognition. doi
  54. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: doi
  55. (2007). Motion detection and motion verbs: Language affects low-level visual perception. doi
  56. (1996). Neural correlates of category-specific knowledge. doi
  57. (1995). Neural mechanisms of selective attention. doi
  58. (2001). Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the understanding and imitation of action. doi
  59. (1999). Nouns and verbs in the intact brain: Evidence from event-related potentials and high-frequency cortial responses. doi
  60. (2000). Ocular pursuit responses to repeated, single-cycle sinusoids reveal behaviour compatible with predictive pursuit.
  61. (2001). Oculomotor mechanisms activated by imagery and memory: Eye movements to absent objects. doi
  62. (1997). Offset dynamics of human smooth pursuit eye movements: Effects of target presence and subject attention. doi
  63. (1990). On the control of automatic processes: A parallel distributed processing model of the Stroop effect. doi
  64. (2000). On the control of control: The role of dopamine in regulating prefrontal function and working memory. In
  65. (1998). On the relations between seen objects and components of potential actions. doi
  66. (1986). Parallel distributed processing: Explorations in the microstructure of cognition. doi
  67. (1975). Perceived visual motion as effective stimulus to pursuit eye movement system. doi
  68. (2005). Perception of motion affects language processing. doi
  69. (2001). Perceptual components of situation models. doi
  70. (1999). Perceptual symbol systems. doi
  71. (1985). Prediction in the oculomotor system: Smooth pursuit during transient disappearance of a visual target. doi
  72. (2004). Predictive smooth ocular pursuit during the transient disappearance of a visual target. doi
  73. (2008). Processing abstract language modulates motor system activity. doi
  74. (1978). Pursuit eye movements of a disappearing moving target. doi
  75. (1962). Pursuit movements of normal of amblyopic eyes – an electro-ophthalmographic study 1 physiology of pursuit movements.
  76. (2003). Recasting the smooth pursuit eye movement system. doi
  77. (1999). Reflexive visual orienting in response to the social attention of others. doi
  78. (1987). Reorienting attention across the horizontal and vertical meridians: Evidence in favour of a premotor theory of attention. doi
  79. (1980). Rules and representations. doi
  80. (1996). Saccade target selection and object recognition: Evidence for a common attentional mechanism. doi
  81. (2006). Seeing, acting, understanding: Motor resonance in language comprehension.
  82. (1994). Selective effects of antipsychotic medications on eye-tracking performance in schizophrenia. doi
  83. (2006). Simulating minds: The philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience of mind reading. doi
  84. (2003). Spatial iconicity affects semantic relatedness judgements. doi
  85. (1935). Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions. doi
  86. (2006). The action-sentence compatibility effect: It’s all in the timing. doi
  87. (2002). The allocation of attention during smooth pursuit eye movements. doi
  88. (1974). The control of eye fixation by the meaning of spoken language: A new methodology for the real-time investigation of speech perception, memory, and language processing.
  89. (2005). The control of voluntary eye movements: New perspectives Neuroscientist, doi
  90. (1979). The effect of expectations on slow oculomotor control – I. Periodic target steps. doi
  91. (1979). The effect of expectations on slow oculomotor control – II. Single target displacements. doi
  92. (2005). The effects of dividing attention on smooth pursuit eye tracking. doi
  93. (2008). The influence of briefly presented randomised target motion on the extra-retinal component of ocular pursuit. doi
  94. (2007). The influence of recent scene events on spoken comprehension: Evidence from eye movements. doi
  95. (2007). The influence of vertical spatial orientation on property verification. doi
  96. (2007). The integration of figurative language and static depictions: An eye movement study of fictive motion. doi
  97. (2004). The interface of language, vision and action: Eye movements and the visual world. doi
  98. (1994). The language instinct. doi
  99. (1975). The language of thought. Cambridge:
  100. (1991). The mechanism of prediction in human smooth pursuit eye movements.
  101. (2004). The mirror-neuron system. doi
  102. (2007). The representation of object concepts in the brain. doi
  103. (1988). The role of knowledge in discourse comprehension: A construction-integrated model. doi
  104. (1990). The role of visual and cognitive processes in the control of eye movement. In E. Kowler (Eds.), Eye movements and their role in visual and cognitive processes. doi
  105. (1995). The role of visual attention in saccadic eye movements. doi
  106. (2001). The theory of even coding (TEC): A framework for perception and action. doi
  107. (1993). Toward a theory of information processing in graded, random, and interactive network. In
  108. (1998). Tracking the time course of spoken word recognition using eye movements: Evidence for continuous mapping models. doi
  109. (1996). Transitions between pursuit eye movements and fixation in the monkey: Dependence on context.
  110. (1995). VAM: A neuro-cognitive model for visual attention control of segmentation, object recognition, and space-based motor action. doi
  111. (1963). Variable feedback experiments testing a sampled data model for eye tracking movements. doi
  112. (2002). Visual and cognitive control of attention in smooth pursuit. doi
  113. (1992). Visual attention and eye movement control during reading and picture viewing. In doi
  114. (2007). Visual-shape competition during language-mediated attention is based on lexical input and not modulated by contextual appropriateness. doi
  115. (1995). Volitional control of anticipatory ocular pursuit responses under stabilized image conditions in humans. doi
  116. (1997). Volitional control of anticipatory ocular smooth pursuit after viewing, but not pursuing, a moving target: Evidence for a re-afferent velocity store. doi
  117. (2002). Volitional scaling of anticipatory ocular pursuit velocity using precues. doi
  118. (1997). What memory is for. doi
  119. (1999). Words in the brain’s language. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.