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    The Lancaster Sensorimotor Norms: multidimensional measures of perceptual and action strength for 40,000 English words

    Lynott, Dermot and Connell, Louise and Brysbaert, Marc and Brand, James and Carney, James (2020) The Lancaster Sensorimotor Norms: multidimensional measures of perceptual and action strength for 40,000 English words. Behavior Research Methods, 52 (3). pp. 1271-1291. ISSN 1554-351X

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    Sensorimotor information plays a fundamental role in cognition. However, the existing materials that measure the sensorimotor basis of word meanings and concepts have been restricted in terms of their sample size and breadth of sensorimotor experience. Here we present norms of sensorimotor strength for 39,707 concepts across six perceptual modalities (touch, hearing, smell, taste, vision, and interoception) and five action effectors (mouth/throat, hand/arm, foot/leg, head excluding mouth/throat, and torso), gathered from a total of 3,500 individual participants using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform. The Lancaster Sensorimotor Norms are unique and innovative in a number of respects: They represent the largest-ever set of semantic norms for English, at 40,000 words × 11 dimensions (plus several informative cross-dimensional variables), they extend perceptual strength norming to the new modality of interoception, and they include the first norming of action strength across separate bodily effectors. In the first study, we describe the data collection procedures, provide summary descriptives of the dataset, and interpret the relations observed between sensorimotor dimensions. We then report two further studies, in which we (1) extracted an optimal single-variable composite of the 11-dimension sensorimotor profile (Minkowski 3 strength) and (2) demonstrated the utility of both perceptual and action strength in facilitating lexical decision times and accuracy in two separate datasets. These norms provide a valuable resource to researchers in diverse areas, including psycholinguistics, grounded cognition, cognitive semantics, knowledge representation, machine learning, and big-data approaches to the analysis of language and conceptual representations. The data are accessible via the Open Science Framework ( and an interactive web application (

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. Cite as: Lynott, D., Connell, L., Brysbaert, M. et al. The Lancaster Sensorimotor Norms: multidimensional measures of perceptual and action strength for 40,000 English words. Behav Res 52, 1271–1291 (2020).
    Keywords: Lancaster Sensorimotor Norms; multidimensional measures; perceptual strength; action strength; English; words; cognition;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 15405
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dermot Lynott
    Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2022 15:35
    Journal or Publication Title: Behavior Research Methods
    Publisher: Psychonomic Society
    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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