When we hear a story, do we naturally imagine the visual scene being described? Do the representations derived in the course of normal language comprehension interact with visual perception broadly? For example, might understanding language change how we interpret visual scenes, even when the visual scenes are unrelated to the linguistic content? In our study, people interpreted an ambiguous image after they had (1) seen real visual motion either upward or downward (Experiment 1), (2) read a story describing physical motion (Experiment 2), or (3) read a story describing abstract motion (Experiment 3). The ambiguous figure could have been seen as a bird flying upward or a different bird flying downward, and the participants were simply asked to click on or draw a worm in the bird’s beak. People’s interpretations of the ambiguous figure were affected by viewing real motion and by reading literal stories describing physical motion, but not by the abstract motion stories. These findings suggest that processing linguistic descriptions of physical (but not abstract) motion can bias perceptual processing in a broad sense; in this case, reading about physical motion changed people’s interpretation of an unrelated ambiguous image.