The influence of hand or foot responses on response times in investigating action sentence processing


In a response time experiment dealing with action language comprehension, we investigated the question of whether the execution of a hand-response would interfere with or facilitate hand-related action sentence processing. We analyzed response times on concrete action, abstract action, and abstract control stimuli, given by hand or with the foot respectively. Beside the well-known concreteness effect, we found that responses by hand on concrete action sentences were relatively prolonged in relation to responses with the foot. Thus, there is a decisive interdependency between the effector-reference of the action verb and the effector used for response detection. We suggest that this has to be taken into account when analyzing action language comprehension and that response effectors should be chosen in accordance with the action language stimuli used.

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