English
 
Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse

Item

ITEM ACTIONSEXPORT

Released

Journal Article

Endogenous oscillations time-constrain linguistic segmentation: Cycling the garden path

MPS-Authors

Henke,  Lena
Max Planck Research Group Language Cycles, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons19855

Meyer,  Lars
Max Planck Research Group Language Cycles, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Department of Phoniatrics and Pedaudiology, Münster University, Germany;

External Resource
No external resources are shared
Fulltext (public)
There are no public fulltexts stored in PuRe
Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available
Citation

Henke, L., & Meyer, L. (2021). Endogenous oscillations time-constrain linguistic segmentation: Cycling the garden path. Cerebral Cortex, 31(9), 4289-4299. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab086.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-41BF-7
Abstract
Speech is transient. To comprehend entire sentences, segments consisting of multiple words need to be memorized for at least a while. However, it has been noted previously that we struggle to memorize segments longer than approximately 2.7 s. We hypothesized that electrophysiological processing cycles within the delta band (<4 Hz) underlie this time constraint. Participants’ EEG was recorded while they listened to temporarily ambiguous sentences. By manipulating the speech rate, we aimed at biasing participants’ interpretation: At a slow rate, segmentation after 2.7 s would trigger a correct interpretation. In contrast, at a fast rate, segmentation after 2.7 s would trigger a wrong interpretation and thus an error later in the sentence. In line with the suggested time constraint, the phase of the delta-band oscillation at the critical point in the sentence mirrored segmentation on the level of single trials, as indicated by the amplitude of the P600 event-related brain potential (ERP) later in the sentence. The correlation between upstream delta-band phase and downstream P600 amplitude implies that segmentation took place when an underlying neural oscillator had reached a specific angle within its cycle, determining comprehension. We conclude that delta-band oscillations set an endogenous time constraint on segmentation.