Action and actor gaze mismatch effects during spoken sentence processing


Eye tracking research on situated language comprehension has shown that participants rely more on a recent event than on a plausible future event during spoken sentence comprehension. When people saw a recent action event and then they listened to a German (NP1-Verb-Adv-NP2) past or futuric present tense sentence, they preferentially looked at the recent event target over another plausible target object independent of tense. The present experiments extend this line of research by introducing incongruence (in Experiment 1 a past tense verb mismatched the recently seen action and in Experiment 2 an actor gaze cue mismatched the past tense sentence condition). Can the verb-action and the gaze-sentence mismatches eliminate the recent-event inspection preference? Results revealed inspection of the recent target as participants processed the verb-action mismatch (Exp 1) and actor gaze incongruence (Exp 2). However, only the gaze incongruence eliminated the overall recent event preference in the NP2 region.

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