Language-induced modulation during the prediction of others' actions

Psychol Res. 2012 Jul;76(4):456-66. doi: 10.1007/s00426-012-0411-6. Epub 2012 Jan 11.


Processing of action words has been shown to influence the perception of the actions the words refer to. Specifically, the accuracy with which people predict the future course of actions observed in another individual seems to be affected by verbal primes. Two processes may be involved in action prediction; dynamic simulation (updating) and static matching. The present study examined this issue by testing the impact of action verb processing on action prediction performance using a masked priming paradigm. Evidence of dynamic updating was revealed after prime verbs expressing dynamic actions (e.g., 'to catch') but not those expressing static actions (e.g., 'to lean'). In contrast to previous work, the primes were masked and did not require any response at all. Hence, our results indicate that implicit action-related linguistic processing may trigger action simulation that in turn might affect action prediction (see also Liepelt, Dolk, & Prinz, Psychological Research, 2012, in this issue).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anticipation, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Linguistics
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Repetition Priming
  • Video Recording
  • Young Adult