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Individual differences in spatial cognition influence mental simulation of language



Individual differences in spatial cognition influence mental simulation of language



Cognition 142: 110-122



The factors that contribute to perceptual simulation during sentence comprehension remain underexplored. Extant research on perspective taking in language has largely focused on linguistic constraints, such as the role of pronouns in guiding perspective adoption. In the present study, we identify preferential usage of egocentric and allocentric reference frames in individuals, and test the two groups on a standard sentence-picture verification task. Across three experiments, we show that individual biases in spatial reference frame adoption observed in non-linguistic tasks influence visual simulation of perspective in language. Our findings suggest that typically reported grand-averaged effects may obscure important between-subject differences, and support proposals arguing for representational pluralism, where perceptual information is integrated dynamically and in a way that is sensitive to contextual and especially individual constraints.

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Accession: 058101816

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26036923

DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2015.05.017


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