Behavior Research Methods

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 453–466 | Cite as

Quantifying sensorimotor experience: Body–object interaction ratings for more than 9,000 English words

  • Penny M. PexmanEmail author
  • Emiko Muraki
  • David M. Sidhu
  • Paul D. Siakaluk
  • Melvin J. Yap


Ratings of body–object interaction (BOI) measure the ease with which the human body can interact with a word’s referent. Researchers have studied the effects of BOI in order to investigate the relationships between sensorimotor and cognitive processes. Such efforts could be improved, however, by the availability of more extensive BOI norms. In the present work, we collected BOI ratings for over 9,000 words. These new norms show good reliability and validity and have extensive overlap with the words used both in other lexical and semantic norms and in the available behavioral megastudies (e.g., the English Lexicon Project, Balota, Yap, Cortese, Hutchison, Kessler, & Loftis in Behavior Research Methods, 39, 445–459, 2007; and the Calgary Semantic Decision Project, Pexman, Heard, Lloyd, & Yap in Behavior Research Methods, 49, 407–417, 2017). In analyses using the new BOI norms, we found that high-BOI words tended to be more concrete, more graspable, and more strongly associated with sensory, haptic, and visual experience than are low-BOI words. When we used the new norms to predict response latencies and accuracy data from the behavioral megastudies, we found that BOI was a stronger predictor of responses in the semantic decision task than in the lexical decision task. These findings are consistent with a dynamic, multidimensional account of lexical semantics. The norms described here should be useful for future research examining the effects of sensorimotor experience on performance in tasks involving word stimuli.


Body-object interaction Lexical decision task Semantic decision task Sensorimotor processes Word ratings Word recognition 


Supplementary material

13428_2018_1171_MOESM1_ESM.csv (310 kb)
ESM 1 (CSV 309 kb)


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Penny M. Pexman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Emiko Muraki
    • 1
  • David M. Sidhu
    • 1
  • Paul D. Siakaluk
    • 2
  • Melvin J. Yap
    • 3
  1. 1.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.University of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  3. 3.National University SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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