Lingering expectations

A pseudo-repetition effect for words previously expected but not presented

Joost Rommers (Corresponding Author), Kara D. Federmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Prediction can help support rapid language processing. However, it is unclear whether prediction has downstream consequences, beyond processing in the moment. In particular, when a prediction is disconfirmed, does it linger, or is it suppressed? This study manipulated whether words were actually seen or were only expected, and probed their fate in memory by presenting the words (again) a few sentences later. If disconfirmed predictions linger, subsequent processing of the previously expected (but never presented) word should be similar to actual word repetition. At initial presentation, electrophysiological signatures of prediction disconfirmation demonstrated that participants had formed expectations. Further downstream, relative to unseen words, repeated words elicited a strong N400 decrease, an enhanced late positive complex (LPC), and late alpha band power decreases. Critically, like repeated words, words previously expected but not presented also attenuated the N400. This “pseudo-repetition effect” suggests that disconfirmed predictions can linger at some stages of processing, and demonstrates that prediction has downstream consequences beyond rapid on-line processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-272
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroimage
Volume183
Early online date11 Aug 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

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Power (Psychology)

Keywords

  • prediction
  • language comprehension
  • word repetition
  • event-related potentials (ERPs)
  • N400
  • Alpha

Cite this

Lingering expectations : A pseudo-repetition effect for words previously expected but not presented. / Rommers, Joost (Corresponding Author); Federmeier, Kara D.

In: Neuroimage, Vol. 183, 12.2018, p. 263-272.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Prediction can help support rapid language processing. However, it is unclear whether prediction has downstream consequences, beyond processing in the moment. In particular, when a prediction is disconfirmed, does it linger, or is it suppressed? This study manipulated whether words were actually seen or were only expected, and probed their fate in memory by presenting the words (again) a few sentences later. If disconfirmed predictions linger, subsequent processing of the previously expected (but never presented) word should be similar to actual word repetition. At initial presentation, electrophysiological signatures of prediction disconfirmation demonstrated that participants had formed expectations. Further downstream, relative to unseen words, repeated words elicited a strong N400 decrease, an enhanced late positive complex (LPC), and late alpha band power decreases. Critically, like repeated words, words previously expected but not presented also attenuated the N400. This “pseudo-repetition effect” suggests that disconfirmed predictions can linger at some stages of processing, and demonstrates that prediction has downstream consequences beyond rapid on-line processing.",
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