Predictive language comprehension

Language comes to us at a rate of 150-300 words per minute. A strategy for dealing with such a rapid input stream is to predict likely upcoming input.

This research investigates prediction from the perspective of three basic components: cues, contents, and mechanisms. The cues are the parts and kinds of context that are used to generate predictions. The contents of predictions refer to the representations that become pre-activated. The mechanisms describe the underlying processes that implement the use of cues and the generation of predictions.

Questions under investigation include: Are predictive mechanisms shared across verbal and nonverbal cognitive domains? How does context influence the use of prediction? Does prediction have downstream consequences for memory?

For details, see:

Rommers, J., & Federmeier, K. D. (2018). Lingering expectations: A pseudo-repetition effect for words previously expected but not presented. NeuroImage, 183, 263-272. (pdf)

Rommers, J., & Federmeier, K. D. (2018). Predictability’s aftermath: Downstream consequences of word predictability as revealed by repetition effects. Cortex, 101, 16-30. (pdf)

Rommers, J., Dickson, D. S., Norton, J. J. S., Wlotko, E. W., & Federmeier, K. D. (2017). Alpha and theta band dynamics related to sentential constraint and word expectancy. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 32(5), 576-589. (pdf)

Rommers, J., Meyer, A. S., & Huettig, F. (2015). Verbal and nonverbal predictors of language-mediated anticipatory eye movements. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 77(3), 720-730. (pdf

Rommers, J., Meyer, A. S., Praamstra, P., & Huettig, F. (2013). The contents of predictions in sentence comprehension: Activation of the shape of objects before they are referred to. Neuropsychologia, 51(3), 437-447. (pdf)

Language Production

Investigations of electrical brain activity are beginning to shed light on the time course of producing syllables and short words. Can we extend the electrophysiology of speech production beyond the single-word level? And what is the relationship between production and comprehension?

For details, see:

Rommers, J., Meyer, A. S., & Praamstra, P. (2017). Lateralized electrical brain activity reveals covert attention allocation during speaking. Neuropsychologia, 95, 101–110. (pdf)

Piai, V., Roelofs, A., Rommers, J., & Maris, E. (2015). Beta oscillations reflect memory and motor aspects of spoken word production. Human Brain Mapping, 36(7), 2767–2780. (pdf)