On predicting others' words: Electrophysiological evidence of prediction in speech production


  • Baus Cristina
  • Sebanz Natalie
  • Fuente Vania
  • Martina Branzi Francesca
  • Martin Clara
  • Costa Albert

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The present study investigated whether lexical processes that occur when we narrie objects can also be observed when an interaction partner is naming objects. We compared the behavioral and electrophysiological responses of participants performing a conditional go/no-go picture naming task in two different conditions: individually and jointly with a confederate participant. To obtain an index of lexical processing, we manipulated lexical frequency, so that half of the pictures had corresponding names of high-frequency and the remaining half had names of low-frequency. Color cues determined whether participants should respond, whether their task-partner should respond, or whether nobody should respond. Behavioral and ERP results showed that participants engaged in lexical processing when it was their turn to respond. Crucially, ERP results on no-go trials revealed that participants also engaged in lexical processing when it was their partner's turn to act. In addition, ERP results showed increased response inhibition selectively when it was the partner's turn to act. These findings provide evidence for the claim that listeners generate predictions about speakers' utterances by relying on their own action production system. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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