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Julia Migun 1, Mariam Bangura 1, Vladimir Spiridonov 1
  • 1 The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, prospekt Vernadskogo, 84,119571, Moscow

From the Bottom of the Pile to the Top of Glory: Embodied Cognition in Spatial Idioms Processing

2019. Vol. 16. No. 4. P. 752–761 [issue contents]
The aim of present research is to determine the contribution of motor and perceptive components of embodied cognition to language processing on the material of idiomatic expressions which are related to spatial locations of “up” (“the top of glory”), “down” (“the bottom of the pile”) and “up-down” (“to fall from the moon”). The importance of this research is to resolve the present contradiction: the contribution of sensorimotor components of embodied cognition to language processing and the congruence effect associated with them are not always found. This calls into question the key position of embodied cognition theories which argue that linguistic information processing involves simulation: e.g. processing spatial idioms implies activation of brain areas associated with spatial information processing. This experimental research has a methodical novelty: for the first time the influence of perceptual, motor and semantic factors on information processing is analyzed simultaneously and material combining opposite spatial characteristics of verbal expressions is used. According to the results of the study (N = 90), there is a congruency effect of motor and semantic factors. Also, the reaction time was the longest in case of a task with idioms combining opposite spatial locations (“to hung up on someone”, “to reach a bottom of a bowl”, “to fall from the moon”).  However, no interaction effects between motor, semantic and perception factors were found. It turned out that regardless of the type of idiom and its location on the screen, the reaction time was always longer in a non-congruent condition than in a congruent one, and “up-down” idioms were processed significantly longer than any other type of idioms. The obtained data demonstrates the contribution of the components of embodied cognition to language processing of spatial idiomatic expressions, but with certain limitations.
Citation: Migun J., Bangura M., Spiridonov V. (2019) So «dna sotsiuma» k «vershine slavy»: voploshchennoe poznanie v obrabotke prostranstvennykh idiom [From the Bottom of the Pile to the Top of Glory: Embodied Cognition in Spatial Idioms Processing]. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, vol. 17, no 4, pp. 752-761 (in Russian)
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