According to theories of embodied cognition, visual stimuli can either facilitate or impede the retrieval of language meaning as multimodal perceptual simulations. Here, we introduced a novel experimental paradigm to test the hypothesis that moving stimuli (i.e., motion-defined objects) facilitate coordination comprehension. Participants read coordination descriptions and saw two colored lines that matched the descriptions. Two figures then selected the lines either by moving jointly along them or by standing each on a different line. Moving selections yielded high validation scores in conjunction trials and low validation scores in disjunction trials, whereas stationary selections yielded mitigated scores. The results demonstrate that jointly moving stimuli, which are effective cues to visual grouping, help retrieve and validate conjunction simulations composed of dependent stimuli as well as retrieve and invalidate disjunction simulations composed of independent stimuli. These findings challenge accounts based on truth-condition satisfaction that stimuli properties cannot affect language comprehension and thereby reasoning.
- Motion-defined objects
- Truth conditions