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  Large-scale replication study reveals a limit on probabilistic prediction in language comprehension

Nieuwland, M. S., Politzer-Ahles, S., Heyselaar, E., Segaert, K., Darley, E., Kazanina, N., et al. (2018). Large-scale replication study reveals a limit on probabilistic prediction in language comprehension. eLife, 7: e33468. doi:10.7554/eLife.33468.

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Nieuwland, Mante S.1, Author           
Politzer-Ahles, Stephen, Author
Heyselaar, Evelien1, Author           
Segaert, Katrien, Author
Darley, Emily, Author
Kazanina, Nina, Author
Von Grebmer Zu Wolfsthurn, Sarah, Author
Bartolozzi, Federica2, Author           
Kogan, Vita, Author
Ito, Aine, Author
Mézière, Diane, Author
Barr, Dale J., Author
Rousselet, Guillaume, Author
Ferguson, Heather J., Author
Busch-Moreno, Simon, Author
Fu, Xiao, Author
Tuomainen, Jyrki, Author
Kulakova, Eugenia, Author
Husband, E. Matthew, Author
Donaldson, David I., Author
Kohút, Zdenko, AuthorRueschemeyer, Shirley-Ann, AuthorHuettig, Falk2, 3, Author            more..
Affiliations:
1Neurobiology of Language Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society, ou_792551              
2Psychology of Language Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society, ou_792545              
3The Cultural Brain, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society, Wundtlaan 1, 6525 XD Nijmegen, NL, ou_2579693              

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 Abstract: Do people routinely pre-activate the meaning and even the phonological form of upcoming words? The most acclaimed evidence for phonological prediction comes from a 2005 Nature Neuroscience publication by DeLong, Urbach and Kutas, who observed a graded modulation of electrical brain potentials (N400) to nouns and preceding articles by the probability that people use a word to continue the sentence fragment (‘cloze’). In our direct replication study spanning 9 laboratories (N=334), pre-registered replication-analyses and exploratory Bayes factor analyses successfully replicated the noun-results but, crucially, not the article-results. Pre-registered single-trial analyses also yielded a statistically significant effect for the nouns but not the articles. Exploratory Bayesian single-trial analyses showed that the article-effect may be non-zero but is likely far smaller than originally reported and too small to observe without very large sample sizes. Our results do not support the view that readers routinely pre-activate the phonological form of predictable words.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 20182018-04-03
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.7554/eLife.33468
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Title: eLife
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Cambridge : eLife Sciences Publications
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 7 Sequence Number: e33468 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2050-084X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2050-084X