Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Caplan & Waters: Working memory and sentence comprehension

A separate language-interpretation resource: Premature fractionation?

Paul Whitney a1 and Desiree Budd a2
a1 Department of Psychology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4820
a2 Department of Psychology, Morehead State University, Morehead, KY 40351


The target article argues for the modularity of language interpretive processes without the usual criterion that a module be informationally encapsulated. It is the encapsulation criterion, however, that gives modularity most of its testability. Without the criterion of encapsulation, testing whether relatively automatic comprehension processes use their own unique resource is a very tricky matter.