Picture of two heads

Open Access research that challenges the mind...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

Discover more...

Depth of lexical-semantic processing and sentential load

Sanford, A.J.S. and Sanford, A.J. and Filik, R. and Molle, J. (2005) Depth of lexical-semantic processing and sentential load. Journal of Memory and Language, 53 (3). pp. 378-396. ISSN 0749-596X

Full text not available in this repository. (Request a copy from the Strathclyde author)

Abstract

The text-change detection task has been used to show that changes are more readily detected for words that fall under narrow focus than broad focus (Sturt, Sanford, Stewart, & Dawydiak, 2004), and that narrow focus appears to lead to finer semantic distinctions being held in the representation of the word. The present experiments apply the same paradigm to investigate whether sentence processing load also influenced the detection of changes, and whether under a high load, semantic distinctions are held at a more crude (rougher grain) level than under low load. Load comparisons were made through subject- and object-extracted relative clauses (Experiment 1), and through referential load (Experiments 2 and 3). Higher loads resulted in poorer change detection, but the pattern of data differed from that obtained in focus manipulations. Experiment 4 explored the effects of referential load upon comprehension, confirming that comprehension did not break down under high-load conditions. In Experiment 5, the load effect was localized to the embedded verb. These results suggest that the effect of load differs from the effect of focus on lexical processing.