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CLS Talks: Marloes Mak (Seminar)

Thursday 17 November 2022Add to my calendar
16:00 to
E9.14/ Zoom
Marloes Mak
What’s On Your Mind: Mental Simulation and Aesthetic Appreciation During Literary Reading

What’s On Your Mind: Mental Simulation and Aesthetic Appreciation During Literary Reading

What's on your mind when you read? Often, readers report envisioning aspects of the stories they read (e.g., events taking place, characters, surroundings). Mental simulation therefore seems an important aspect of narrative reading. I report on two studies in which we measured mental simulation using eye-tracking and neuroimaging. In the first (eye-tracking) study, we found that gaze durations are differentially impacted by different kinds of mental simulation. Motor simulation, perceptual simulation, and mentalizing as elicited by literary short stories influenced eye movements in distinguishable ways (Mak & Willems, 2019). In the second (combined eye tracking and fMRI) study, we investigated the existence of a common neural locus for these different kinds of simulation, using a fixation-related analysis for our fMRI data. We additionally investigated whether individual differences during reading, as indexed by eye movements, are reflected in domain-specific activations in the brain. We found a variety of brain areas activated by simulation-eliciting content, both modality-specific brain areas and a general simulation area. Individual variation in percent signal change in activated areas was related to measures of story appreciation as well as personal characteristics (i.e., transportability, perspective taking). Taken together, these findings suggest that mental simulation is supported by both domain-specific processes grounded in previous experiences, and by the neural mechanisms that underlie higher-order language processing (e.g., situation model building, event indexing, integration).

CLS Talks

CLS Talks (which replace the previous CLS lectures and CLS seminars) take place once a month on Thursdays at 16:00. These colloquia will showcase research done within the CLS, with the aim to increase awareness of the ongoing research in the CLS, and to facilitate discussions and collaborations between researchers. In addition, we have invited a number of external speakers to share their work with us. If you cannot make it in-person you are welcome to join us via Zoom. By registering via the button below, you will receive the link.