Schedule of Events | Search Abstracts | Symposia | Invited Symposia | Poster Sessions | Data Blitz Sessions

Poster B111

Is it a dog or an animal? Differential responses in reaction times and pupil sizes to basic and superodinate categories.

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Alissa Ferry1 (, Sydney Heywood1, Kexin Fan1, Yasmin Hunt1, Xiaotong Xu1; 1University of Manchester

Objects can be categorized at different levels of specificity; for example, a dog can be a dog (basic level category), or an animal (superordinate category). Previous work generally finds a basic-level category advantage, with faster processing of basic-level categories (e.g., Iordan et al., 2016; Rosch et al., 1976; Murphy, 2016), though some work (e.g., Mace et al., 2009) has shown that superordinate categories are processed faster. Here we built on studies (e.g., Kuipers et al., 2018) showing faster responses to congruent word-image pairs by investigating the category level on reaction times and pupil responses. Participants saw label-picture pairings that differed on congruency (e.g., hearing cat before seeing a cat; hearing apple before seeing a cat) and category level (e.g., the basic word cat versus the superordinate word animal). Because larger pupil sizes are found when tasks require more cognitive processing (e.g., van der Wel, & Van Steenbergen, 2018), we expected larger pupil sizes when trials were incongruent and when labels were superordinate. Study 1 (N = 30) found robust reaction time differences with faster responses for congruent compared to incongruent and for basic compared to superordinate trials, but no differences in pupil sizes. To account for the possibility that the required response effort masked potential pupil differences, Study 2 (N = 60) used a passive task. Results showed larger pupil sizes for incongruent trials compared to congruent trials, as predicted, but found larger pupils for basic level trials compared to superordinate level categories, in contrast to our predictions.

Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Semantic


CNS Account Login


April 13–16  |  2024