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Mental Models in Narrative Comprehension
Gordon H. Bower and Daniel G. Morrow
New Series, Vol. 247, No. 4938 (Jan. 5, 1990), pp. 44-48
Published by: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2873581
Page Count: 5
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Readers of stories construct mental models of the situation and characters described. They infer causal connections relating characters' actions to their goals. They also focus attention on characters' movements, thereby activating nearby parts of the mental model. This activation is revealed in readers' faster answering of questions about such parts, with less facilitation the greater their distance from the focus. Recently visited as well as imagined locations are also activated for several seconds. These patterns of temporary activation facilitate comprehension.
Science © 1990 American Association for the Advancement of Science