Experiential traces and mental simulations in language comprehension

Rolf A Zwaan

in Symbols and Embodiment

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199217274
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191696060 | DOI:
Experiential traces and mental simulations in language comprehension

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This chapter provides a framework for an embodied, experiential view of language comprehension. It explains that the claim is not that the elements of this framework are entirely new. The contribution lies more in the integration from insights from the diverse literatures on concepts, episodic and semantic memory, psycholinguists, computational linguistics, motor control, and action observation. The key notion in the framework is that of the experiential trace. Experiential traces are laid down in multiple modality-specific cortical areas. As such, they are multimodal records of experience. It highlights that linguistic constructions such as words and standard phrases are also multimodal experiential traces. It differentiates linguistic traces from referential traces.

Keywords: language comprehension; experiential trace; cortical areas; words; phrases; linguistic constructions; linguistic traces; referential traces; mental simulations

Chapter.  7129 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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