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

Nieuwland, MS; Barr, DJ; Bartolozzi, F; Busch-Moreno, S; Darley, E; Donaldson, D; Ferguson, HJ; ... Zu Wolfsthurn, SVG; + view all (2020) Dissociable effects of prediction and integration during language comprehension: evidence from a large-scale study using brain potentials. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological sciences , 375 (1791) , Article 20180522. 10.1098/rstb.2018.0522. Green open access

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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.

Type: Article
Title: Dissociable effects of prediction and integration during language comprehension: evidence from a large-scale study using brain potentials
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2018.0522
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2018.0522
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Biology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics, predictability, plausibility, semantic similarity, N400, TIME-COURSE, SEMANTIC INTEGRATION, WORD RECOGNITION, REFLECT, DISCOURSE, MEMORY, REPRESENTATION, EXPECTANCY, SENTENCES, KNOWLEDGE
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10095355
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