Edited by Marianna Bolognesi and Gerard J. Steen
[Human Cognitive Processing 65] 2019
► pp. 101–118
Chapter 5Is the acoustic modality relevant for abstract concepts?
A study with the Extrinsic Simon task
An emerging class of theories of knowledge assumes that the representation and processing of concepts is achieved by reactivating multiple aspects of experience. Abstract concepts such as freedom and justice constitute a challenge for these theories because they have no clearly identifiable referent that we can experience. The Words As social Tools theory (WAT) posits that while both concrete and abstract concepts activate sensorimotor networks, the linguistic network is activated more by abstract than by concrete concepts given that the mode of acquisition of abstract concepts relies more on language. In this chapter we extend this argument and report results from an experiment with the Extrinsic Simon task suggesting that when we process abstract words we re-enact the experience of their acquisition and/or explain to ourselves their meaning.
- 1.1Previous findings in line with the WAT theory
- 1.2Empirical investigations of WAT predictions
- 2.The experiment: Overview
- 5.General discussion and conclusions
Cited by 1 other publications
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