Language Comprehension and Probe-List Memory

Peter C. Gordon, Randall Hendrick, Kerry Ledoux Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Experiments were performed using probe-word recognition methodology in which participants read sentences that were presented 1 word at a time and were then shown a probe word and had to make a speeded response indicating whether the word had occurred in the sentence. One experiment showed that response times to probe words increased with the size of the set of candidate probes. The other experiments showed that the effects caused by name repetition in circumstances in which the repeated name was co-referential also occurred when the repeated name was not co-referential and when the order of words in a sentence was scrambled. The results suggest that responses in the task can be based on probe-list memory, a mental representation created to keep track of those words that the participant believes are likely to be probed, and that the use of the task to make inferences about language comprehension should be accompanied by controls ruling out such strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)766-775
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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