Implied motion language can influence visual spatial memory

David Vinson, Jan Engelen, Rolf A Zwaan, Teenie Matlock, Rick Dale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


How do language and vision interact? Specifically, what impact can language have on visual processing, especially related to spatial memory? What are typically considered errors in visual processing, such as remembering the location of an object to be farther along its motion trajectory than it actually is, can be explained as perceptual achievements that are driven by our ability to anticipate future events. In two experiments, we tested whether the prior presentation of motion language influences visual spatial memory in ways that afford greater perceptual prediction. Experiment 1 showed that motion language influenced judgments for the spatial memory of an object beyond the known effects of implied motion present in the image itself. Experiment 2 replicated this finding. Our findings support a theory of perception as prediction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-862
Number of pages10
JournalMemory & Cognition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


  • Implied motion
  • Motion language
  • Spatial cognition
  • Visual memory
  • Prediction


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