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Sentence Comprehension as Mental Simulation: An Information-Theoretic Perspective

Department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AP, UK
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Information 2011, 2(4), 672-696; https://doi.org/10.3390/info2040672
Received: 2 July 2011 / Revised: 25 October 2011 / Accepted: 17 November 2011 / Published: 23 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognition and Communication)
It has been argued that the mental representation resulting from sentence comprehension is not (just) an abstract symbolic structure but a “mental simulation” of the state-of-affairs described by the sentence. We present a particular formalization of this theory and show how it gives rise to quantifications of the amount of syntactic and semantic information conveyed by each word in a sentence. These information measures predict simulated word-processing times in a dynamic connectionist model of sentence comprehension as mental simulation. A quantitatively similar relation between information content and reading time is known to be present in human reading-time data. View Full-Text
Keywords: sentence comprehension; mental simulation; word information; connectionist modeling; word-reading time; semantic and syntactic bootstrapping sentence comprehension; mental simulation; word information; connectionist modeling; word-reading time; semantic and syntactic bootstrapping
MDPI and ACS Style

Frank, S.L.; Vigliocco, G. Sentence Comprehension as Mental Simulation: An Information-Theoretic Perspective. Information 2011, 2, 672-696.

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