Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Effects of Language on Visual Perception

Lupyan, G., et al. (2020, April 28). 


Does language change what we perceive? Does speaking different languages cause us to perceive things differently? We review the behavioral and electrophysiological evidence for the influence of language on perception, with an emphasis on the visual modality. Effects of language on perception can be observed both in higher-level processes such as recognition, and in lower-level processes such as discrimination and detection. A consistent finding is that language causes us to perceive in a more categorical way. Rather than being fringe or exotic, as they are sometimes portrayed, we discuss how effects of language on perception naturally arise from the interactive and predictive nature of perception.

  • Our ability to detect, discriminate, and recognize perceptual stimuli is influenced both by their physical features and our prior experiences.
  • One potent prior experience is language. How might learning a language affect perception?
  • We review evidence of linguistic effects on perception, focusing on the effects of language on visual recognition, discrimination, and detection.
  • Language exerts both off-line and on-line effects on visual processing; these effects naturally emerge from taking a predictive processing approach to perception.
In sum, language shapes perception in terms of higher-level processes (recognition) and lower-level processes (discrimination and detection).

Very important research in terms of psychotherapy and the language we use.