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    Linguistic distributional knowledge and sensorimotor grounding both contribute to semantic category production

    Banks, Briony and Wingfield, Cai and Connell, Louise (2021) Linguistic distributional knowledge and sensorimotor grounding both contribute to semantic category production. Cognitive Science, 45 (e13055). ISSN 1551-6709

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    The human conceptual system comprises simulated information of sensorimotor experience and linguistic distributional information of how words are used in language. Moreover, the linguistic shortcut hypothesis predicts that people will use computationally cheaper linguistic distributional information where it is sufficient to inform a task response. In a pre-registered category production study, we asked participants to verbally name members of concrete and abstract categories, and tested whether performance could be predicted by a novel measure of sensorimotor similarity (based on an 11-dimensional representation of sensorimotor strength) and linguistic proximity (based on word co-occurrence derived from a large corpus). As predicted, both measures predicted the order and frequency of category production but, critically, linguistic proximity had an effect above and beyond sensorimotor similarity. A follow-up study using typicality ratings as an additional predictor found that typicality was often the strongest predictor of category production variables, but it did not subsume sensorimotor and linguistic effects. Finally, we created a novel, fully grounded computational model of conceptual activation during category production, which best approximated typical human performance when conceptual activation was allowed to spread indirectly between concepts, and when candidate category members came from both sensorimotor and linguistic distributional representations. Critically, model performance was indistinguishable from typical human performance. Results support the linguistic shortcut hypothesis in semantic processing, and provide strong evidence that both linguistic and grounded representations are inherent to the functioning of the conceptual system.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This preprint version of the published article is available at DOI: 10.31234/ . The published article is available at Banks, B., Wingfield, C. and Connell, L. (2021), Linguistic Distributional Knowledge and Sensorimotor Grounding both Contribute to Semantic Category Production. Cognitive Science, 45: e13055.
    Keywords: Concepts; Category production; Semantic fluency; Sensorimotor simulation; Linguistic distributional information; Computational cognitive model;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 14926
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Louise Connell
    Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2021 16:42
    Journal or Publication Title: Cognitive Science
    Publisher: Wiley
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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