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The electrophysiological mechanism of joint language switching: Evidence from simultaneous production and comprehension

The electrophysiological mechanism of joint language switching: Evidence from simultaneous production and comprehension

Authors: 
Huanhuan Liu, Ning Xie, Man Zhang, Xiang Gao, Susan Dunlap, Baoguo Chen
Year: 
2017
Journal: 
Journal of Neurolinguistics
Abstract: 

Successful communicative language switching requires the finely orchestrated interaction between a speaker's production-based processes and a listener's comprehension-based processes. It is necessary to explore language switching mechanisms during simultaneous production and comprehension tasks. Pairs of bilinguals were asked to cooperatively complete a picture-naming task in two languages according to cues, leading to simultaneous production and comprehension. Results showed that switching to L2 elicited a larger LPC than switching to L1 during within-person switching in stimulus production processing, suggesting that inhibition may mainly play a role in suppressing the non-target lemma. This LPC pattern was also found at right hemisphere electrodes during within-person switching in stimulus comprehension processing, and occurred after the listener heard the speaker's utterance. Altogether, simultaneous language production and comprehension might both involve inhibitory control mechanism, and listeners compare the actual utterance of speaker with his/her own previous prediction after hearing what the speaker said.

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