Mental Reactivation and Pleasantness Judgment of Experience Related to Vision, Hearing, Skin Sensations, Taste and Olfaction
Language acquisition is based on our knowledge about the world and forms through multi- ple sensory-motor interactions with the environment. We link the properties of individual experience formed at different stages of ontogeny with the phased development of sensory modalities and with the acquisition of words describing the appropriate forms of sensitivity. To test whether early-formed experience related to skin sensations, olfaction and taste differs from later-formed experience related to vision and hearing, we asked Russian- speaking participants to categorize or to assess the pleasantness of experience mentally reactivated by sense-related adjectives found in common dictionaries. It was found that cat- egorizing adjectives in relation to vision, hearing and skin sensations took longer than cate- gorizing adjectives in relation to olfaction and taste. In addition, experience described by adjectives predominantly related to vision, hearing and skin sensations took more time for the pleasantness judgment and generated less intense emotions than that described by adjectives predominantly related to olfaction and taste. Interestingly the dynamics of skin resistance corresponded to the intensity and pleasantness of reported emotions. We also found that sense-related experience described by early-acquired adjectives took less time for the pleasantness judgment and generated more intense and more positive emotions than that described by later-acquired adjectives. Correlations were found between the time of the pleasantness judgment of experience, intensity and pleasantness of reported emo- tions, age of acquisition, frequency, imageability and length of sense-related adjectives. All in all these findings support the hypothesis that early-formed experience is less differenti- ated than later-formed experience.