Top-down influences on event apprehension

Not much is known about apprehension, the earliest stage of information processing in elicited language production studies, using pictorial stimuli. For example, (1) is the process influenced by the specific type of information that a speaker needs as a starting point for the preverbal message? (2) Is it a process that can be adapted to the specific time constraints of a task? To broaden our understanding of apprehension, we analyze landing positions and onset latencies of first fixations on visual stimuli given short stimulus presentation times, presupposing that the first fixation directly results from information processing during apprehension.

In our first study, we compared performance of Spanish and German participants.

In our current study, we contrast Dutch and Mandarin Chinese. Results further validate our method. First fiaxation locations differ depending on linguistic task. Furthermore, we again find a cross-linguistic difference with respect to landing sites of first fixations.

Project publications

  • First things first? Top-down influences on event apprehension
  • Gerwien, J. & Flecken, M. (2016). First things first? Top-down influences on event apprehension. In:Papafragou, A., Grodner, D., Mirman, D., & Trueswell, J.C. (Eds.) (2016). Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. abstract and article.

  • First things first: Cross-linguistic analyses of event apprehension
  • Muqing Li, Johannes Gerwien and Monique Flecken. (oral presentation). First things first: Cross-linguistic analyses of event apprehension. Linguistic Diversity Meets The Brain: Future directions in the language sciences.Workshop at the Department of Comparative Linguistics, University of Zurich on 15th–17th May 2017.

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