Psycholinguistics Coffee

Psycholinguistics Coffee

Informal Meeting to Discuss Psycholinguistic Research

Next session

Please join us for the following online talk on BB Collaborate.



Georgia-Ann Carter (University of Edinburgh)

Time and date

Wednesday June 23rd, 12-1pm (BST)


Title and abstract

Effects of global discourse coherence on local contextual predictions

During language comprehension, words are easier to process when predictable based on local sentence context. Previous research suggests that information available from both the local (sentence) and global (discourse) contexts interact when informing upcoming predictions. Meanwhile, discourse coherency is critical for the formation and maintenance of relevant event-based representations. Currently, it is unclear how discourse coherency interacts with predictive processing. To test this, we conducted an online self-paced reading study (n=99), manipulating the predictability of a critical word in a target sentence while varying the coherency of the target sentence with a preceding two-sentence preamble context. Results from this first experiment indicate that subtler semantic changes, such as topic shifts, slow language processing but do not reduce the benefit of a highly predictable, local context.


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