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Seeing what they read and hearing what they say: readers' representation of the story characters' world.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Psychonomic bulletin & review
Publication Date
Volume
17
Issue
2
Pages
231–236
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3758/PBR.17.2.231
PMID: 20382925
Source
Medline

Abstract

Do readers "see" the words that story characters read and "hear" the words that they hear? Just as priming effects are reduced when stimuli are presented cross-modally on two different occasions, we found reduced transfer effects when story characters were described as experiencing stimuli cross-modally. In Experiment 1, a repeated phrase was described as being part of a spoken message in both Story A and Story B, and transfer effects were found. In Experiment 2, in contrast, when the phrase was described as a written note in one story and a spoken message in the other, reading-time results indicated that readers did not retrieve the meaning of the repeated phrase. The results are consistent with findings indicating that visual imagery simulates visual processing and that auditory imagery simulates auditory processing. We conclude that readers mentally simulate the perceptual details involved in story characters' linguistic exchanges.

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