Spatial language, visual attention, and perceptual simulation

Kenny Coventry, Dermott Lynott, Angelo Cangelosi, Lynn Monrouxe, Dan Joyce, Daniel Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Spatial language descriptions, such as The bottle is over the glass, direct the attention of the hearer to particular aspects of the visual world. This paper asks how they do so, and what brain mechanisms underlie this process. In two experiments employing behavioural and eye tracking methodologies we examined the effects of spatial language on people’s judgements and parsing of a visual scene. The results underscore previous claims regarding the importance of object function in spatial language, but also show how spatial language differentially directs attention during examination of a visual scene. We discuss implications for existing models of spatial language, with associated brain mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-213
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


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