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Poster A147

Signal coherence reflects changes in predictive processing for bilinguals in L2: an EEG study

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Katherine Sendek1, Elaina Jahanfard1, Tamara Swaab1; 1University of California - Davis

Bilingualism is common throughout the world. However, its effects on language prediction are still not well understood, compared to monolinguals. It is well established that monolinguals predict upcoming words in highly constraining contexts, thereby facilitating processing. Effects of prediction in L2 of bilinguals have shown mixed results. In the present study we examined L2 prediction in 30 Spanish-English bilinguals using a word-pair prediction paradigm. Participants were asked to predict the second word of each pair, which had a 50% forward association, and indicate if the word they predicted matched the target word. A typical N400 effect of successful prediction was found. Additional analyses were done to derive a measure of aperiodic activity from the EEG. Aperiodic activity is inversely proportional to the frequency of oscillatory activity. A steeper slope in aperiodic activity is suggestive of higher processing demands, and prior research found that anticipation of predictable words resulted in a steeper aperiodic slope. Results of a mixed-effects model demonstrated that, while there was no significant difference in aperiodic slope before word onset, participants showed a steeper aperiodic slope when anticipated words differed from target words (t(26)= 2.805, p = .009). This may indicate the increased demands of processing unpredicted words. Correlation analyses showed that a steeper aperiodic slope before target word onset was associated with larger N400 prediction effects to the targets (r = .19). Together, these results suggest that bilinguals anticipate upcoming target words in L2, and that this facilitates processing relative to unpredicted targets.

Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Other


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April 13–16  |  2024