ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (8): 992-1003.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00992

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The Impact of Cyber-Experience on Action Verb Processing

LIU Siyun1,2; ZHOU Zongkui1,2; LI Na1,2   

  1. (1 Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior (CCNU), Ministry of Education;
    2 School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079 China)
  • Received:2014-05-04 Published:2015-08-25 Online:2015-08-25
  • Contact: ZHOU Zongkui, E-mail:


 Two major different approaches have been held when researchers study higher level cognitive processes. The classic symbolic approach suggested that our higher level cognitive processing belongs to an independent system from that of lower level cognitive processes; whereas embodied cognition theory proposed that our conceptual knowledge is grounded in our sensorimotor systems and shares common neural systems with them. Up till now, a growing number of behavioral and neurological data have provided supporting evidence for embodied cognition theory.

In this study, we explored whether different degree of cyber-experience would affect higher level of cognitive processing. Three experiments were designed to investigate the impacts of cyber-experience on the processing of facial expression verbs, body action verbs and action schema verbs. In Experiment 1, two experimental groups of participants were presented with facial expression verbs while their facial positive expressive capability was either facilitated or inhibited. Results showed that participants who had excessive cyber experiences showed no different performance under two different facial muscle controlling conditions, while the participants with less cyber experience recognized positive facial verbs more quickly under facilitated condition than that under inhibited condition. In Experiment 2, the switching costs paradigm was used to explore the impact of cyber-experience on body action verb processing. Results showed that the participants with excessive cyber experience did not show any cost while they switched between verbs and nouns, but the participants with less cyber experience showed significant cognitive cost while switching. In Experiment 3, the serial recall experimental paradigm was applied to explore the impact of cyber-experience on action schema verb processing. Results showed that the excessive cyber-experience participants’ recall performance of the action schemas verbs was no different between logic sequence and random sequence conditions, whereas those with less cyber-experience showed significantly worse performance in random sequence condition than that in logic sequence condition.

In summary, current findings suggested that excessive cyber behaviors may hurt individuals’ higher level of cognitive processing, in that their verb processing may be weakened or delayed as a result of less normal conceptual representations. Our study also provided supportive evidence for the close relationship between the sensorimotor systems and the higher level of conceptual processing.

Key words: embodied cognition, switching cost effect, schema, cyber-experience