Negation markers inhibit motor routines during typing of manual action verbs

Enrique García-Marco, Yurena Morera, David Beltrán, Manuel de Vega, Eduar Herrera, Lucas Sedeño, Agustín Ibáñez, Adolfo M. García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We explored whether negation markers recruit inhibitory mechanisms during keyboard-based action-verb typing. In each trial, participants read two sentences: the first featured a context (There is a contract) and the second ended with a relevant verb which had to be immediately typed. Crucially, the verb could describe manual actions, non-manual actions or non-motor processes, with either affirmative (You do sign it) or negative (You don't sign it) polarity. We assessed the impact of verb type and polarity on two typing dimensions: motor programming (lapse between target onset and first keystroke) and motor execution (lapse between first and last keystroke). Negation yielded no effect on motor planning, but it selectively delayed typing execution for manual-action verbs, irrespective of the subjects’ typing skills. This suggests that processing negations during comprehension of manual-action sentences recruits inhibitory mechanisms acting on same-effector movements. Our novel finding extends embodied models of language and effector-specific motor-language integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-293
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Embodied cognition
  • Inhibitory processes
  • Linguistic negation
  • Typing


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