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Bruno Bianchi, Rodrigo Loredo, Julia Carden, Virginia Jaichenco, Titus von der Malsburg, Diego Shalom, Juan Kamienkowski; Different sources of predictions during natural reading: an EEG and Eye-Tracking co-registration study. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):1308. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.1308.
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During reading our brain predicts upcoming words. If predictions are correct, words can be processed faster when they are finally fixated. It has been amply shown that Predictability (the variable that estimates the probability of guessing the next word) have an impact on how we move our eyes across the text and that it modulates brain potentials associated with word processing. On the one side, more predictable words are fixated for shorter periods of time than less predictable words. On the other side, more predictable words correspond to less N400 amplitude. This knowledge comes from separated EEG and eye movement experiments, but in the last few years, co-registration experiments enabled us to test these hypotheses together in more natural contexts.
With the aim of investigating different sources of predictions during reading, in previous studies, we showed that mnemonic predictions (i.e. predictions performed purely on long term memory, like when reading a proverb or a song lyric) and predictions done purely on the linguistic context have different impact, both on gaze duration and on the N400.
Here, we asked participants to read proverbs and common sentences while we recorded EEG and eye movements simultaneously. Firstly, we analysed brain activity aligned to fixation onset (fixation-related potential, FRPs) showing differences between Proverbs and Common sentences in late potentials evoked by low- and high-Predictable words. Secondly, we analysed oscillations aligned to fixation onset (fixation-related spectral perturbations, FRSPs) showing differences between sentence type only in low-frequency bands after 200ms. These results extend our knowledge of the differences between the mechanisms involved in the prediction of the following word.
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