Two experiments explored the representational basis for anticipatory eye movements. Participants heard ‘the man will drink …’ or ‘the man has drunk …’ (Experiment 1) or ‘the man will drink all of …’ or ‘the man has drunk all of …’ (Experiment 2). They viewed a concurrent scene depicting a full glass of beer and an empty wine glass (amongst other things). There were more saccades towards the empty wine glass in the past tensed conditions than in the future tense conditions; the converse pattern obtained for looks towards the full glass of beer. We argue that these anticipatory eye movements reflect sensitivity to objects’ affordances, and develop an account of the linkage between language processing and visual attention that can account not only for looks towards named objects, but also for those cases (including anticipatory eye movements) where attention is directed towards objects that are not being named.
- Language-mediated eye movements
- Visual attention