Corroborating behavioural evidence for the interplay of representational richness and semantic control in semantic word processing

Laura Bechtold, Christian Bellebaum, Paul Hoffman, Marta Ghio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to replicate and validate concreteness and context effects on semantic word processing. In Experiment 1, we replicated the behavioral findings of Hoffman et al. (Cortex 63,250–266, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2014.09.001, 2015) by applying their cueing paradigm with their original stimuli translated into German. We found concreteness and contextual cues to facilitate word processing in a semantic judgment task with 55 healthy adults. The two factors interacted in their effect on reaction times: abstract word processing profited more strongly from a contextual cue, while the concrete words’ processing advantage was reduced but still present. For accuracy, the descriptive pattern of results suggested an interaction, which was, however, not significant. In Experiment 2, we reformulated the contextual cues to avoid repetition of the to-be-processed word. In 83 healthy adults, the same pattern of results emerged, further validating the findings. Our corroborating evidence supports theories integrating representational richness and semantic control mechanisms as complementary mechanisms in semantic word processing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6184
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
Issue number1
Early online date17 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • concreteness
  • representational substrates
  • cueing
  • semantic control
  • synonym judgment task

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