SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Sereno, S. C., Brewer, C. C., & O’Donnell, P. J. (2003). Context effects in word recognition: evidence for early interactive processing. Psychological Science, 14(4), 328-333. 

  • An empirical study comparing ambiguous words with high and low frequency unambiguous words, and in a context that supported the less frequent meaning of the word vs. a neutral context. ERP measures indicated that supporting context influenced lexical access early on. 

Discussion Questions

  1. The N1 component of an EEG signal is thought to reflect lexical access. Explain why lexical frequency should influence the N1. What was the authors’ hypothesis about context influencing the N1?
  2. What does it mean for a model of word access to be modular? And interactive? What are the key differences?    
  3. State the main results of the experiment. Do the data support a modular or interactive model of lexical access? Explain how so.

Article 2: Dumay, N., & Gaskell, M. G. (2007). Sleep-associated changes in the mental representation of spoken words. Psychological Science, 18, 35-39. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01845.x  

  • An empirical study investigating the time frame of integrating a new word into the mental lexicon. Sleep, and thereby incubation, were required to detect lexical competition, rather than the passage of time.

Discussion Questions

  1. Explain the logic of why greater lexical competition for a newly learned competitor word would mean a stronger representation of it in your mind. Include the idea of neighborhood density in your explanation.
  2. Describe the pause detection task used in this experiment. What is it supposed to measure? Give some example trials.
  3. What were the main results from the experiment? What role does sleep play in retrieving new words from memory?

Article 3: Vigliocco, G., Antonini, T., & Garrett, M. F. (1997). Grammatical gender is on the tip of Italian tongues. Psychological Science, 8(4), 314-317. 

  • An empirical study using the tip-of-the-tongue state to show that lexical access has different stages. The stage indicated in this experiment includes syntactic, grammatical gender information, separately from sound and semantic elements.

Discussion Questions

  1. Describe the grammatical and phonological stages of lexical access. Relate the article’s discussion of these stages to the Levelt model in the textbook.
  2. Explain what a positive vs. a negative TOT is. Considering Figures 2 and 3, what were the main results of the experiment?
  3. Do you think these results fit better with a modular or an interactive model of lexical access? Why?   

Article 4: Glenberg A. M., Witt, J. K., & Metcalfe, J. (2013). From the revolution to embodiment: 25 years of cognitive psychology. Perspectives on Psychological Science, (8)5,  573-585. doi:10.1177/1745691613498098

  • A review article discussing the development of the embodied cognition paradigm shift. It  examines the strengths and weaknesses of the traditional view of language as abstract symbol manipulation according to rules, and contrasts it with embodied cognition – a view of language as dependent on and integrated with perception, the brain, and body, with an emphasis on the critical role of action and simulation.  

Discussion Questions

  1. Identify the four problems with the physical symbol system hypothesis (PSSH). Considering language in particular, which of these do you think is the biggest weakness – the most unlike human cognition?
  2. The role of action is an important consideration in understanding and evaluating embodiment. Considering the section about action and language in particular, what do you think would happen if someone was paralyzed and could not produce motor movements? Would they be able to simulate action, to still think and have a mental life?  
  3. What do you think robots will be like in 2038? Will they “think” about words and concepts just as we do?