MPI Colloquium Anna K. Kuhlen

29 January 2020 15:45 - 29 January 2020 17:00
Max Planck Institute
Anna K Kuhlen

Typically people speak for the purpose of communicating with another person. Yet the cognitive and neural processes underlying speaking have been predominantly investigated in settings in which single participants produce words or utterances devoid of a social or communicative context. In this talk I will present experiments that scale up language production to settings in which two speakers jointly name pictures. Starting point are experiments demonstrating that speakers seek lexical access not only for pictures they name themselves but also for pictures named by their task partner – which can cause interference when subsequently naming semantically related pictures. This semantic interference effect is somewhat surprising considering that, in day-to-day conversation, interlocutors routinely produce words that are semantically related to each other. A second series of experiments thus scales up joint picture naming to settings in which task partners name pictures for a communicative purpose. In such a communicative setting semantic interference is drastically attenuated. Our results suggests that, depending on communicative context and inter-turn interval, semantic relatedness between the partner’s and the own utterances either proves irrelevant, or – in some cases – even facilitates speech production.

Location: MPI Conference Room 163
Wundtlaan 1, 6525 XD Nijmegen

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