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Synchronization of neural oscillations with speech facilitates syntactic information processing

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Meyer,  Lars
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Meyer, L., & Gumbert, M. (2018). Synchronization of neural oscillations with speech facilitates syntactic information processing. Poster presented at CUNY 2018: 31st Annual CUNY Sentence Processing Conference, Davis, CA.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-5B18-C
Abstract
Synchronization of neural oscillations with syntactic phrases has been described previously, but its purpose for information transmission is unclear. We hypothesized that synchronization implies the alignment of electrophysiological excitability and syntactic information, facilitating sentence processing. Our study distributed morpho-syntactic violations across phrases; violations occurred at points differing in syntactic surprisal. Violation detection accelerated with decreasing surprisal—in correlation with oscillatory phase, which had synchronized to the stimuli. Surprisal and reaction times were more strongly correlated with phase than with each other, suggesting that phase was intervening. Synchronization of neural oscillations with phrases may thus serve to optimize information transmission.