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Title: Role of Context and Listener-Generated Prediction in Comprehending Natural Speech
Authors: Aguero-Sinclair, Lindsey Rose
Advisors: Hasson, Uri
Contributors: Ghazanfar, Asif
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2013
Abstract: Prior studies have shown that brains of speakers and listeners temporally and spatially “couple” during conversation. Brain activity in the speaker typically precedes paralleled brain activity in the listener, though in certain brain regions the temporal relation is reversed. The extent of overall coupling correlates with message comprehension. However, the degree of listener brain activity preceding speaker brain activity provides the strongest correlation. Within this framework, this paper aims to better understand the role of anticipatory listener brain activity from a behavioral perspective using real-life stimuli. Specifically, it seeks to examine the role of listener predictions in natural language comprehension, as well as the extent to which the coherence of conveyed context informs the ability to predict. Results from this study confirm prior findings by demonstrating that listener prediction correlates with his or her comprehension and that the nature of context has a highly significant effect on the ability to predict. Accordingly, this suggests important roles for interlocutors in conversation: speakers as suppliers of coherent discourse and listeners as active predictors.
Extent: 57 pages
Access Restrictions: Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2016

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