Interactive dimensions in the construction of mental representations for text

David N. Rapp*, Holly A. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


To detail the structure and format of memory for texts, researchers have examined whether readers monitor separate text dimensions for space, time, and characters. The authors proposed that the interactivity between these individual dimensions may be as critical to the construction of complex mental models as the discrete dimensions themselves. In the present experiments, participants read stories in which characters were described as traveling from a start to a final location. During movement between locations, characters engaged in activities that could take either a long or short amount of time to complete. Results indicate that accessibility for the spatial locations was a function of the passage of time. The authors interpret this as evidence that the interactive nature of text dimensions affects the structure of representations in memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)988-1001
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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