1,109 research outputs found

    Negation in context: evidence from the visual world paradigm

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    Literature assumes that negation is more difficult to understand than affirmation, but this might depend on the pragmatic context. The goal of this paper is to show that pragmatic knowledge modulates the unfolding processing of negation due to the previous activation of the negated situation. To test this, we used the visual world paradigm. In this task, we presented affirmative (e.g., her dad was rich) and negative sentences (e.g., her dad was not poor) while viewing two images of the affirmed and denied entities. The critical sentence in each item was preceded by one of three types of contexts: an inconsistent context (e.g., She supposed that her dad had little savings) that activates the negated situation (a poor man), a consistent context (e.g., She supposed that her dad had enough savings) that activates the actual situation (a rich man), or a neutral context (e.g., her dad lived on the other side of town) that activates neither of the two models previously suggested. The results corroborated our hypothesis. Pragmatics is implicated in the unfolding processing of negation. We found an increase in fixations on the target compared to the baseline for negative sentences at 800 ms in the neutral context, 600 ms in the inconsistent context, and 1450 ms in the consistent context. Thus, when the negated situation has been previously introduced via an inconsistent context, negation is facilitated

    The effect of salience on Chinese pun comprehension : a visual world paradigm study

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    The present study adopted the printed-word visual world paradigm to investigate the salience effect on Chinese pun comprehension. In such an experiment, participants listen to a spoken sentence while looking at a visual display of four printed words (including a semantic competitor, a phonological competitor, and two unrelated distractors). Previous studies based on alphabetic languages have found robust phonological effects (participants fixated more at phonological competitors than distractors during the unfolding of the spoken target words), while controversy remains regarding the existence of a similar semantic effect. A recent Chinese study reported reliable semantic effects in two experiments using this paradigm, suggesting that Chinese participants could actively map the semantic input from the auditory modality with the semantic information retrieved from printed words. In light of their study, we designed an experiment with two conditions: a replication condition to test the validity of using the printed-word world paradigm in Chinese semantic research, and a pun condition to assess the role played by salience during pun comprehension. Indeed, global analyses have revealed robust semantic effects in both experimental conditions, where participants were found more attracted to the semantic competitors than to the distractors with the emergence of target words. More importantly, the local analyses from the pun condition have shown that the participants were more attracted to the semantic competitors related to the salient meaning of the ambiguous word in a pun than to those related to the less salient meanings within 200 ms after target word offset. This finding suggests that the salient meaning of the ambiguous word in a pun is activated and assessed faster than its less salient counterpart. The initial advantage observed in the present study is consistent with the prediction of the graded salience hypothesis rather than the direct access model

    Prediction in the processing of repair disfluencies: Evidence from the visual-world paradigm

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    Two visual-world eye-tracking experiments investigated the role of prediction in the processing of repair disfluencies (e.g., “The chef reached for some salt uh I mean some ketchup . . .”). Experiment 1 showed that listeners were more likely to fixate a critical distractor item (e.g., pepper) during the processing of repair disfluencies compared with the processing of coordination structures (e.g., “. . . some salt and also some ketchup . . .”). Experiment 2 replicated the findings of Experiment 1 for disfluency versus coordination constructions and also showed that the pattern of fixations to the critical distractor for disfluency constructions was similar to the fixation patterns for sentences employing contrastive focus (e.g., “. . . not some salt but rather some ketchup . . .”). The results suggest that similar mechanisms underlie the processing of repair disfluencies and contrastive focus, with listeners generating sets of entities that stand in semantic contrast to the reparandum in the case of disfluencies or the negated entity in the case of contrastive focus

    Tracking Eye Movements as a Window on Language Processing: The Visual World Paradigm

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    This entry overviews the pioneering experimental studies exploiting eye movement data to investigate language processing in real time. After examining how vision and language were found to be closely related, herein focus the discussion on the evolution of eye-tracking methodologies to investigate children’s language development. To conclude, herein provide some insights about the use of eye-tracking technology for research purposes, focusing on data collection and data analysis

    Negation affects processing of correct and incorrect information: A visual world paradigm for misinformation

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    The current study investigated how language changes the meaning of facts. Much is known about the acquiring of misconceptions, but little is known about how subtle changes in language affect the retrieval of accurate facts and misconceptions. Participants read vignettes and were exposed to four different kinds of texts that varied by affirmative or negated and whether the fact was true or false. After participants read several of these facts, their eye movements were tracked in a visual world paradigm with 4 written plausible answers on the screen in each corner to choose from. Fixations to each kind of response were recorded and presence of misinformation was found to temper the processing of misconceptions and led to an observed suppression of inaccurate information. Mechanisms of processing true and false concepts and the interplay between language and conceptual formation are discussed

    On-line processing of English which-questions by children and adults: a visual world paradigm study

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    Previous research has shown that children demonstrate similar sentence processing reflexes to those observed in adults, but they have difficulties revising an erroneous initial interpretation when they process garden-path sentences, passives, and wh -questions. We used the visual-world paradigm to examine children's use of syntactic and non-syntactic information to resolve syntactic ambiguity by extending our understanding of number features as a cue for interpretation to which -subject and which -object questions. We compared children's and adults’ eye-movements to understand how this information shapes children's commitment to and revision of possible interpretations of these questions. The results showed that English-speaking adults and children both exhibit an initial preference to interpret an object- which question as a subject question. While adults quickly override this preference, children take significantly longer, showing an overall processing difficulty for object questions. Crucially, their recovery from an initially erroneous interpretation is speeded when disambiguating number agreement features are present

    Assessing the stability of thematic and taxonomic preferences across explicit and implicit measures

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    Assessments of similarity between objects has shown to draw upon both taxonomic and thematic properties. While cross-task preferences have been demonstrated (Mirman & Graziano, 2012), the current experiment aimed to examine the reliability of such preferences across an extended range of explicit and implicit measures of similarity. In a within-subjects design, 50 participants completed three established measures assessing preferences for taxonomic or thematic relations; a free sort task, a triad task and the Visual World Paradigm, with a further implicit measure developed based upon the single category Implicit Association Task. Preferences were calculated on the basis of choices made on the sorting and triad task, competitor viewing time on the VWP, and response time on the IAT. Across all measures, consistent preferences were not found. Furthermore, no significant correlations were found between the magnitude of preferences for the four measures including no correlations between the two explicit or the two implicit measures. In contrast to previous research demonstrating reliable cross-task preferences, performance on the tasks used here argue against stable individual differences in taxonomic and thematic processing and suggest that, for most people, the use of each processing pathway is flexible and determined by both context and goals.Non peer reviewe

    ELAN Analysis Companion (EAC): A Software Tool for Time-course Analysis of ELAN-annotated Data

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    LAN is a widely used and free (in both senses) annotation software for behavioral or other events that unfold over time. We report on and release a stand-alone program that expands on ELAN's capabilities in two ways: 1) it allows the researcher to plot and export time-course analysis data directly from ELAN's native annotation files, allowing for hassle-free data extraction in the time domain, e.g. for visual-world paradigm studies; and 2) it allows the researcher to weight ELAN's built-in annotator reliability rating based on the duration of the coded events. This software is released under an open license
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