Green as a cbemcuru: modal as well as amodal color cues can help to solve anagrams
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Embodied cognition theories have been getting much support in recent years from studies showing that multimodal experiential traces are activated during language comprehension. However, there are almost no studies examining this influence in the opposite direction. Here, we investigated the influence of modal (physical color patch) and amodal (color word) cues on anagram solving times. We manipulated the association between the color cue and the solution word’s referent color (e.g., finding the solution word “cucumber” for the anagram “cmrbucue” should be facilitated by the word “green” or a green color patch). In a third experiment, both cues were combined: a color word was presented inside a color patch before the anagram appeared. We indeed observed priming effects: anagrams were solved faster when the preceding color patch or color word matched the solution word’s referent compared to a mismatching color patch or color word. When combining these cues, a priming effect only was found when both color word and color patch matched the solution word’s referent. These results further strengthen the notion that multimodal experiential traces play an important role in language comprehension and expand upon the results of earlier studies on anagram solution tasks.
This study was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of the Collaborative Research Center “SFB 833”; Project B4 of Barbara Kaup and Hartmut Leuthold. We want to thank the two reviewers of an earlier version of this paper for their helpful remarks and great suggestions.
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