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≪Organizer Abstract≫
Beyond the processing of language at the word, sentence, and message levels, contemporary research converges on another facet of comprehension: namely, the continual validation of message consistency and congruence. Existing evidence indicates that validation is initiated immediately and is routine rather than requiring of intentional strategies. Successful validation is a precondition to updating the situational representation of the message. Validation applies to discourse inferences as well as explicit assertions. This symposium presents recent advances in this realm. It addresses the validation of presupposed as well as focused text concepts. It examines neural signatures of the detection and remediation of text inconsistencies. It explores the impact of detecting incongruence at the semantic, empirical and belief-based levels. It presents evidence that inaccuracies in complex communications may surprisingly overwhelm pre-existing knowledge and beliefs. Understanders' sensitivity to text consistency is reconciled with certain validation failures and deficiencies in comprehension monitoring.
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