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Journal Article

Continuous attraction toward phonological competitors


Grosjean,  Marc
Department Psychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Spivey, M., Grosjean, M., & Knoblich, G. (2005). Continuous attraction toward phonological competitors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102(29), 10393-10398. doi:10.1073/pnas.0503903102.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-A60A-B
Certain models of spoken-language processing, like those for many other perceptual and cognitive processes, posit continuous uptake of sensory input and dynamic competition between simultaneously active representations. Here, we provide compelling evidence for this continuity assumption by using a continuous response, hand movements, to track the temporal dynamics of lexical activations during real-time spoken-word recognition in a visual context. By recording the streaming x, y coordinates of continuous goal-directed hand movement in a spoken-language task, online accrual of acoustic-phonetic input and competition between partially active lexical representations are revealed in the shape of the movement trajectories. This hand-movement paradigm allows one to project the internal processing of spoken-word recognition onto a two-dimensional layout of continuous motor output, providing a concrete visualization of the attractor dynamics involved in language processing.