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Journal Article

Anticipating upcoming words in discourse: Evidence from ERPs and reading times

MPS-Authors

Brown,  Colin M.
Neurocognition of Language Processing, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

Kooijman,  Valesca
Language Comprehension Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
FC Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging , External Organizations;

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Hagoort,  Peter
FC Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, external;
Neurocognition of Language Processing, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Fulltext (public)

vanBerkum_2005_anticipating.pdf
(Publisher version), 2MB

Supplementary Material (public)
Citation

Van Berkum, J. J. A., Brown, C. M., Zwitserlood, P., Kooijman, V., & Hagoort, P. (2005). Anticipating upcoming words in discourse: Evidence from ERPs and reading times. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 31(3), 443-467. doi:10.1037/0278-7393.31.3.443.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-1D7F-C
Abstract
The authors examined whether people can use their knowledge of the wider discourse rapidly enough to anticipate specific upcoming words as a sentence is unfolding. In an event-related brain potential (ERP) experiment, subjects heard Dutch stories that supported the prediction of a specific noun. To probe whether this noun was anticipated at a preceding indefinite article, stories were continued with a gender-marked adjective whose suffix mismatched the upcoming noun's syntactic gender. Prediction-inconsistent adjectives elicited a differential ERP effect, which disappeared in a no-discourse control experiment. Furthermore, in self-paced reading, prediction-inconsistent adjectives slowed readers down before the noun. These findings suggest that people can indeed predict upcoming words in fluent discourse and, moreover, that these predicted words can immediately begin to participate in incremental parsing operations.