Van Moot assesses neural correlation essay

Van Moot assesses neural correlation essay.

Category:  Psychology

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Article Summary

In her article What you read versus what you know, Van Moot assesses the neural correlation between background knowledge and accessing context information to construct a mental representation during reading (Van Moort, Jolles, Koornneef, & Van den Broek, 2020). The primary psycholinguistic issue on which the article bases its research is to identify the online processes through which individuals combine language input and their background knowledge to construct the meaning of a message.  After identifying the primary problem of her research, Van Moort designs an experiment to provide insights into the problem and thus assist in the improvement of the knowledge in psycholinguistics (Van Moort, Jolles, Koornneef, & Van den Broek, 2020). Van Moort’s experiment involves thirty native Dutch speakers with normal eyesight and no neurological or psychiatric disorders. The experiment is divided into two sessions, separated by a 24-hour gap to increase the accuracy of the results. In the first session, the participants complete a reading task in an MRI scanner (Van Moort, Jolles, Koornneef, & Van den Broek, 2020). In the second session, which occurs 24 hours later, the participants complete a questionnaire that assesses the amount of background knowledge the participants had regarding the topic before the first session.  The results of the experiment thus enable the Van moot to identify the answer to the research question.  The primary purpose of Van Moort’s research is to identify a neural correlation between background knowledge and contextual information in the processing of various texts.

Van Moort’s article begins by providing readers with background information regarding how humans construct meanings of texts (Van Moort, Jolles, Koornneef, & Van den Broek, 2020). The article thus argues that human beings develop mental representations in which they integrate the knowledge they are acquiring from the texts with the knowledge they already have regarding the topic in the text. Therefore, the process of building the representation is continuous as humans encounter new information. The new information is then integrated with the old information to form the person’s knowledge. However, the article also cites that all the prior studies conducted in the field did not distinguish between text-based and knowledge-based monitoring. The lack of distinction has resulted in a lack of clarity regarding the extent to which the two aspects proceed and whether they proceed independently or interactively.

The first objective of Van Moort’s experiment is the identification of the roles of contextual information and background knowledge in the cognitive architecture of validation and whether they should separate the roles of the two. The experiment results aligned with van Moort’s previous research in 2018, which suggested that prior text and background knowledge each have a unique influence on the processing of messages (Van Moort, Jolles, Koornneef, & Van den Broek, 2020). However, in contrast to Van Moort’s research n 2018, the experiment results did not show a pronounced effect for knowledge-based inconsistencies in the processing of a message. The second objective of van Moort’s research was to examine the correlation between text-based and knowledge-based monitoring in processing messages (Van Moort, Jolles, Koornneef, & Van den Broek, 2020). The experiment’s results, however, show that various regions contribute to the coherence monitoring process. The last objective of the research was to investigate how the process during reading affects the representation of the text in memory.  Van Moort’s experiment showed that mismatched information was less likely to be remembered than matching information (Van Moort, Jolles, Koornneef, & Van den Broek, 2020). Therefore, when individuals read a text mismatched with their background information, they are less likely to remember it.

However, Van Moort’s research acknowledges one limitation in its experiment. The primary limitation of the experiment is that the mismatching information may not have been encoded in the memory of the readers; thus, they found it difficult to remember the information. Van Moort’s research provides several insights into the process of construction of the meaning of messages. From the research, we can identify the various roles text-based and knowledge-based monitoring play in affecting an individual’s comprehension of messages.


Van Moort, M. L., Jolles, D. D., Koornneef, A., & Van den Broek, P. (2020). What you read versus what you know: Neural correlates of accessing context information and background knowledge in constructing a mental representation during reading. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General149(11), 2084-2101. doi:10.1037/xge0000764

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