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Neural signatures of response planning occur midway through an incoming question in conversation.

Bögels S, Magyari L, Levinson SC - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: Combining an interactive quiz paradigm with EEG measurements in an innovative way, we show that production planning processes start as soon as possible, that is, within half a second after the answer to a question can be retrieved (up to several seconds before the end of the question).Finally, oscillation results suggest an attention switch from comprehension to production around the same time frame.This perspective from interactive language use throws new light on the performance characteristics that language competence involves.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
A striking puzzle about language use in everyday conversation is that turn-taking latencies are usually very short, whereas planning language production takes much longer. This implies overlap between language comprehension and production processes, but the nature and extent of such overlap has never been studied directly. Combining an interactive quiz paradigm with EEG measurements in an innovative way, we show that production planning processes start as soon as possible, that is, within half a second after the answer to a question can be retrieved (up to several seconds before the end of the question). Localization of ERP data shows early activation even of brain areas related to late stages of production planning (e.g., syllabification). Finally, oscillation results suggest an attention switch from comprehension to production around the same time frame. This perspective from interactive language use throws new light on the performance characteristics that language competence involves.

No MeSH data available.


Localizations of the positivities in the ERPs (600–1100 ms) of the main experiment.Localizations for the effects at TL1 (EARLY vs. LATE) are shown on the left and for that at TL2 (LATE vs EARLY) are shown on the right. Only the left hemisphere is shown since activations occurred mainly in this hemisphere. Colors indicate T-values.
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f2: Localizations of the positivities in the ERPs (600–1100 ms) of the main experiment.Localizations for the effects at TL1 (EARLY vs. LATE) are shown on the left and for that at TL2 (LATE vs EARLY) are shown on the right. Only the left hemisphere is shown since activations occurred mainly in this hemisphere. Colors indicate T-values.

Mentions: A localization of the positivities was performed between 600 and 1100 ms. In the main experiment, positivities for both TL1 (EARLY vs. LATE: one cluster, p < .001) and TL2 (LATE vs. EARLY: one cluster, p < .001) were localized at distributed sources in the brain, mostly in the left hemisphere (Fig. 2). Local maxima for both question conditions were found in the middle and superior temporal gyrus and the inferior frontal gyrus. In addition, the positivity at TL1 (EARLY vs. LATE) showed local maxima in the middle frontal and precentral gyrus and the positivity at TL2 (LATE vs EARLY) showed a local maximum in the precuneus. These areas overlap extensively with the network of language production areas4, and have been related to lemma retrieval and selection, phonological code retrieval, and syllabification. In contrast, the positivities in the control experiment (TL1, EARLY vs. LATE: one cluster, p = .034; TL2, LATE vs. EARLY: one cluster, p = .025) were mainly localized to the anterior and posterior cingulate cortices (see Supplementary Fig. 3), which are not specifically associated with language processing, but rather with attention and attentional control19. Participants in the control experiment might need such attentional control to keep to the memory task, while the critical words come in, prompting them to ‘automatically’ try to retrieve the answer (as more than 90% of participants reported to have done). Given that the localizations of the (smaller) positivities in the control experiment point to rather different processes, the localizations of the positivities found in the main experiment are consistent with the interpretation that language production planning, right up to the later stages of phonological retrieval and syllabification, started almost immediately after the answer could be retrieved.


Neural signatures of response planning occur midway through an incoming question in conversation.

Bögels S, Magyari L, Levinson SC - Sci Rep (2015)

Localizations of the positivities in the ERPs (600–1100 ms) of the main experiment.Localizations for the effects at TL1 (EARLY vs. LATE) are shown on the left and for that at TL2 (LATE vs EARLY) are shown on the right. Only the left hemisphere is shown since activations occurred mainly in this hemisphere. Colors indicate T-values.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4525376&req=5

f2: Localizations of the positivities in the ERPs (600–1100 ms) of the main experiment.Localizations for the effects at TL1 (EARLY vs. LATE) are shown on the left and for that at TL2 (LATE vs EARLY) are shown on the right. Only the left hemisphere is shown since activations occurred mainly in this hemisphere. Colors indicate T-values.
Mentions: A localization of the positivities was performed between 600 and 1100 ms. In the main experiment, positivities for both TL1 (EARLY vs. LATE: one cluster, p < .001) and TL2 (LATE vs. EARLY: one cluster, p < .001) were localized at distributed sources in the brain, mostly in the left hemisphere (Fig. 2). Local maxima for both question conditions were found in the middle and superior temporal gyrus and the inferior frontal gyrus. In addition, the positivity at TL1 (EARLY vs. LATE) showed local maxima in the middle frontal and precentral gyrus and the positivity at TL2 (LATE vs EARLY) showed a local maximum in the precuneus. These areas overlap extensively with the network of language production areas4, and have been related to lemma retrieval and selection, phonological code retrieval, and syllabification. In contrast, the positivities in the control experiment (TL1, EARLY vs. LATE: one cluster, p = .034; TL2, LATE vs. EARLY: one cluster, p = .025) were mainly localized to the anterior and posterior cingulate cortices (see Supplementary Fig. 3), which are not specifically associated with language processing, but rather with attention and attentional control19. Participants in the control experiment might need such attentional control to keep to the memory task, while the critical words come in, prompting them to ‘automatically’ try to retrieve the answer (as more than 90% of participants reported to have done). Given that the localizations of the (smaller) positivities in the control experiment point to rather different processes, the localizations of the positivities found in the main experiment are consistent with the interpretation that language production planning, right up to the later stages of phonological retrieval and syllabification, started almost immediately after the answer could be retrieved.

Bottom Line: Combining an interactive quiz paradigm with EEG measurements in an innovative way, we show that production planning processes start as soon as possible, that is, within half a second after the answer to a question can be retrieved (up to several seconds before the end of the question).Finally, oscillation results suggest an attention switch from comprehension to production around the same time frame.This perspective from interactive language use throws new light on the performance characteristics that language competence involves.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
A striking puzzle about language use in everyday conversation is that turn-taking latencies are usually very short, whereas planning language production takes much longer. This implies overlap between language comprehension and production processes, but the nature and extent of such overlap has never been studied directly. Combining an interactive quiz paradigm with EEG measurements in an innovative way, we show that production planning processes start as soon as possible, that is, within half a second after the answer to a question can be retrieved (up to several seconds before the end of the question). Localization of ERP data shows early activation even of brain areas related to late stages of production planning (e.g., syllabification). Finally, oscillation results suggest an attention switch from comprehension to production around the same time frame. This perspective from interactive language use throws new light on the performance characteristics that language competence involves.

No MeSH data available.