Presentation Title

The Role of Eye-Movements in the Orientation of the Mental Timeline

Faculty Mentor

Kevin Autry

Start Date

18-11-2017 12:30 PM

End Date

18-11-2017 1:30 PM

Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 28

Session

Poster 2

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Research has shown that people mentally represent abstract concepts (e.g., time) using more concrete domains (e.g., space) in what are known as conceptual metaphors. For example, English speakers tend to represent the past on the left and the future on the right using a mental timeline. Mirror-reversed text (e.g., ЯOЯЯIM) has been shown to reverse the direction of the mental timeline such that English-speakers begin to represent the past on the right similar to people who use languages written right to left (e.g., Hebrew, Arabic). The purpose of the present study is to determine what role eye-movements play in this reversal of the mental timeline. We accomplished this by replicating the original mirror-reversal study (Casasanto & Bottini, 2014) and adding a set of conditions which minimize eye-movements by presenting words one at a time in the center of the computer screen (i.e., rapid serial visual presentation). We predict that if the visuo-motor processing involved with eye-movements are the cause of the mental timeline’s orientation, subjects should be faster to make “past” responses on the right after reading full mirror-reversed phrases, but faster to make “past” responses on the left after reading mirror-reversed phrases one word at a time. This would demonstrate a reversal of the mental timeline only when subjects were moving their eyes to read the text, implicating visuo-motor processing in the orientation of the mental timeline.

Summary of research results to be presented

Preliminary results reveal a reversed mental timeline for subjects who read full mirror-reversed phrases, but not for subjects who read the mirror-reversed phrases one word at a time.

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Nov 18th, 12:30 PM Nov 18th, 1:30 PM

The Role of Eye-Movements in the Orientation of the Mental Timeline

BSC-Ursa Minor 28

Research has shown that people mentally represent abstract concepts (e.g., time) using more concrete domains (e.g., space) in what are known as conceptual metaphors. For example, English speakers tend to represent the past on the left and the future on the right using a mental timeline. Mirror-reversed text (e.g., ЯOЯЯIM) has been shown to reverse the direction of the mental timeline such that English-speakers begin to represent the past on the right similar to people who use languages written right to left (e.g., Hebrew, Arabic). The purpose of the present study is to determine what role eye-movements play in this reversal of the mental timeline. We accomplished this by replicating the original mirror-reversal study (Casasanto & Bottini, 2014) and adding a set of conditions which minimize eye-movements by presenting words one at a time in the center of the computer screen (i.e., rapid serial visual presentation). We predict that if the visuo-motor processing involved with eye-movements are the cause of the mental timeline’s orientation, subjects should be faster to make “past” responses on the right after reading full mirror-reversed phrases, but faster to make “past” responses on the left after reading mirror-reversed phrases one word at a time. This would demonstrate a reversal of the mental timeline only when subjects were moving their eyes to read the text, implicating visuo-motor processing in the orientation of the mental timeline.