Liu et al. (2018) present a study that implements the conceptual modality switch (CMS) paradigm, which has been used to investigate the modality-specific nature of conceptual representations (Pecher et al., 2003). Liu et al.‘s experiment uses event-related potentials (ERPs; similarly, see Bernabeu et al., 2017; Collins et al., 2011; Hald et al., 2011, 2013). In the design of the switch conditions, the experiment implements a corpus analysis to distinguish between purely-embodied modality switches and switches that are more liable to linguistic bootstrapping (also see Bernabeu et al.
This preregistration outlines a study that will investigate the dynamic nature of conceptual processing by examining the interplay between linguistic distributional systems—comprising word co-occurrence and word association—and embodied systems—comprising sensorimotor and emotional information. A set of confirmatory research questions are addressed using data from the Calgary Semantic Decision project, along with additional measures for the stimuli corresponding to distributional language statistics, embodied information, and individual differences in vocabulary size.
Throughout the 1990s, two opposing theories were used to explain how people understand texts, later bridged by the Landscape Model of reading (van den Broek, Young, Tzeng, & Linderholm, 1999). A review is offered below, including a schematic representation of the Landscape Model.
Memory-based view The memory-based view presented reading as an autonomous, unconscious, effortless process. Readers were purported to achieve an understanding of a text as a whole by combining the concepts, and implications readily afforded, in the text with their own background knowledge (Myers & O’Brien, 1998; O’Brien & Myers, 1999).
The engagement of sensory brain regions during word recognition is widely documented, yet its precise relevance is less clear. It would constitute perceptual simulation only if it has a functional role in conceptual processing. We investigated this …
Research has extensively investigated whether conceptual processing is modality-specific—that is, whether meaning is processed to a large extent on the basis of perceptual and motor affordances (Barsalou, 2016). This possibility challenges long-established theories. It suggests a strong link between physical experience and language which is not borne out of the paradigmatic arbitrariness of words (see Lockwood, Dingemanse, & Hagoort, 2016). Modality-specificity also clashes with models of language that have no link to sensory and motor systems (Barsalou, 2016).