Thinking ahead: The role and roots of prediction in language comprehension

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Reviewed are studies using event-related potentials to examine when and how sentence context information is used during language comprehension. Results suggest that, when it can, the brain uses context to predict features of likely upcoming items. However, although prediction seems important for comprehension, it also appears susceptible to age-related deterioration and can be associated with processing costs. The brain may address this trade-off by employing multiple processing strategies, distributed across the two cerebral hemispheres. In particular, left hemisphere language processing seems to be oriented toward prediction and the use of top-down cues, whereas right hemisphere comprehension is more bottom-up, biased toward the veridical maintenance of information. Such asymmetries may arise, in turn, because language comprehension mechanisms are integrated with language production mechanisms only in the left hemisphere (the PARLO framework).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-505
Number of pages15
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

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Language
Brain
Cerebrum
Evoked Potentials
Cues
Costs and Cost Analysis
Thinking

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Event-related potentials
  • Hemispheric differences
  • Language
  • N400
  • Sentence processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this

Thinking ahead : The role and roots of prediction in language comprehension. / Federmeier, Kara D.

In: Psychophysiology, Vol. 44, No. 4, 07.2007, p. 491-505.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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