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Language-driven anticipatory eye movements in virtual reality

The question whether we predict upcoming words when we hear somebody speak is often studied by placing participants in front of a computer screen and measuring their eye movements as they look at objects on that screen. The ecological validity of such paradigms remains questionable, for instance because these computer experiments use two-dimensional stimuli that are mere abstractions of real-world objects.
Language-driven anticipatory eye movements in virtual reality

A recent study by Nicole Eichert and colleagues therefore tested whether a well-known finding in favour of prediction in language comprehension (language-mediated anticipatory eye movements) replicated in a three-dimensional immersive virtual reality environment. Despite significant changes in the stimulus material and the different mode of stimulus presentation, language-mediated anticipatory eye movements were observed.

Co-author David Peeters explains: "These findings are important, because they indicate prediction of upcoming words in language comprehension in a more naturalistic setting where natural depth cues are preserved. Furthermore, these results confirm the feasibility of using eyetracking in rich and multimodal 3-D virtual environments, thereby providing a solid basis for future VR studies that will investigate predictive language processing in even richer contexts."

 

Read the paper here:

Eichert, N., Peeters, D., & Hagoort, P. (2017). Language-driven anticipatory eye movements in virtual reality. Behavior Research Methods. Advance online publication.

Neurobiology of Language

What is the neurobiological infrastructure for the uniquely human capacity for language? The focus of the Neurobiology of Language Department is on the study of language production, language comprehension, and language acquisition from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. Read more...

Director: Peter Hagoort

Secretary: Carolin Lorenz

 

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