Perceptual processing affects the reactivation of a sensory dimension during a categorization task

According to grounded theories of cognition, knowledge is grounded in its sensory-motor features. Therefore, perceptual and conceptual processing should be based on the same distributed system so that conceptual and perceptual processes should interact. The present study assesses whether gustatory stimulation (participants tasted a sweet or a nonsweet yoghurt) could influence performance on a categorization task that involves the reactivation of the same sensory dimension. The results indicate that participants were slower (Experiment 1) or faster (Experiment 2), respectively, at categorizing pictures as representing edible sweet stimuli when they either simultaneously or had previously tasted a sweet yoghurt as compared to a nonsweet yoghurt. These results confirm the significant overlap between perceptual and memory mechanisms and suggest the functional equivalence between perceptually present and perceptually absent (memory reactivated) dimensions.