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Poster B91

Predictive brain activity shows congruent semantic specificity in language comprehension and production.

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Luigi Grisoni1,2 (, Isabella P. Boux1,3,4,5, Friedemann Pulvermüller1,2,3,4; 1Freie Universität Berlin, Brain Language Laboratory, Department of Philosophy and Humanities, 14195 Berlin, Germany, 2Cluster of Excellence ‘Matters of Activity. Image Space Material’, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, 10099 Berlin, Germany, 3Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, 10099 Berlin, Germany, 4Einstein Center for Neurosciences, 10117, Berlin, Germany, 5Biological and Social Psychology Institute of Psychology RWTH Aachen University, Germany

Sentence fragments strongly predicting a subsequent specific meaningful word elicit larger pre-word slow waves, Prediction Potentials (PP), than unpredictive contexts. To test current predictive processing models, EEG data from both sexes was collected to examine whether (i) different semantic PPs are elicited in language comprehension and production, and (ii) whether these PPs originate from the same specific ‘prediction area(s)’ or rather from distributed category-specific neuronal circuits reflecting the meaning of the predicted item. Larger slow waves after predictable than unpredictable contexts were present both before subjects heard the sentence-final word in the comprehension experiment and before they pronounced the sentence-final word in the production experiment. Crucially, cortical sources underlying the PP were distributed across several cortical areas and were specific to the semantic category of the expected words. In both production and comprehension, anticipation of animal words was reflected by sources in posterior visual areas, whereas predictable tool words were preceded by sources in frontocentral sensorimotor cortex. In both modalities the PPs were functionally linked with behavioural measures of predictability (i.e., Cloze probability, Reaction Times), whereas significant positive correlations between the PPs in the two modalities along with their similar latencies, polarities and topographies suggest that both signals reflect semantic predictions. These results sit comfortably with theories viewing distributed semantic-category-specific circuits as the mechanistic basis of semantic prediction in the two modalities.

Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Semantic


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