Integration of visual and linguistic information in spoken language comprehension

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Science  16 Jun 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5217, pp. 1632-1634
DOI: 10.1126/science.7777863


Psycholinguists have commonly assumed that as a spoken linguistic message unfolds over time, it is initially structured by a syntactic processing module that is encapsulated from information provided by other perceptual and cognitive systems. To test the effects of relevant visual context on the rapid mental processes that accompany spoken language comprehension, eye movements were recorded with a head-mounted eye-tracking system while subjects followed instructions to manipulate real objects. Visual context influenced spoken word recognition and mediated syntactic processing, even during the earliest moments of language processing.

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