Dissociable effects of prediction and integration during language comprehension: evidence from a large-scale study using brain potentials

Nieuwland, M. S. et al. (2020) Dissociable effects of prediction and integration during language comprehension: evidence from a large-scale study using brain potentials. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 375, 20180522. (doi: 10.1098/rstb.2018.0522) (PMID:31840593)

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Abstract

Composing sentence meaning is easier for predictable words than for unpredictable words. Are predictable words genuinely predicted, or simply more plausible and therefore easier to integrate with sentence context? We addressed this persistent and fundamental question using data from a recent, large-scale (n = 334) replication study, by investigating the effects of word predictability and sentence plausibility on the N400, the brain's electrophysiological index of semantic processing. A spatio-temporally fine-grained mixed-effect multiple regression analysis revealed overlapping effects of predictability and plausibility on the N400, albeit with distinct spatio-temporal profiles. Our results challenge the view that the predictability-dependent N400 reflects the effects of either prediction or integration, and suggest that semantic facilitation of predictable words arises from a cascade of processes that activate and integrate word meaning with context into a sentence-level meaning.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: This work was partly funded by ERC starting grant no. 636458 to H.J.F.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barr, Dr Dale and Rousselet, Dr Guillaume
Authors: Nieuwland, M. S., Barr, D. J., Bartolozzi, F., Busch-Moreno, S., Darley, E., Donaldson, D. I., Ferguson, H. J., Fu, X., Heyselaar, E., Huettig, F., Husband, E. M., Ito, A., Kazanina, N., Kogan, V., Kohút, Z., Kulakova, E., Mézière, D., Politzer-Ahles, S., Rousselet, G., Rueschemeyer, S.-A., Segaert, K., Tuomainen, J., and Wolfsthurn, S. V. G. Z.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8436
ISSN (Online):1471-2970
Published Online:16 December 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 375:20180522
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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