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Words That Refer to Big Things are Processed Faster by Brain

by Kathy Jones on September 29, 2013 at 9:01 PM
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 Words That Refer to Big Things are Processed Faster by Brain

Size does matter, at least for the brain, as a new study found that the processing speed of the brain is faster if the words refer to big things and slower when referring to small things.

According to the experts, big words like "ocean" and "dinosaur" were read more quickly than small ones like "apple" and "cigarette," the Scotsman reported.

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They also found that abstract words which are used for big, impressive things, like "greed" and "paradise" are processed quicker than words for smaller concepts, like "haste" and "intimate."

For the study, 60 participants were given a series of real words referring to objects and concepts both big and small, as well as nonsense, made-up words, totalling nearly 500 items.
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The participants were then asked to press one of the two buttons to point out which item was a real word or not, this decision took around a half second per item.

The results showed that words referring to larger objects or concepts were processed by brains around 20 milliseconds faster than words that referred to smaller objects or concepts.

Dr Sara Sereno, a Reader in the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology who led the study, said that it seems that size matters, even when it's abstract and people are unable to see it.

The study has been published in the online journal PLoS ONE.

Source: ANI
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