Amie Fairs will defend her thesis on June 7

11 April 2019
On Friday 7th June 2019, at 10:30, Amie Fairs will defend her thesis entitled “Linguistic dual-tasking: understand temporal overlap between production and comprehension” in the Aula of Radboud University. As with all defenses, it is a public event and everybody is welcome to join.

We speak in conversations everyday, rapidly planning what we want to say and listening to our conversational partner. During conversation, there is a very short gap between peoples’ turn, with minimal overlap but also no big silences. This suggests that people can plan what they want to respond to their conversation partner while they are listening to them. Amie Fairs investigated how we manage to combine planning our speech and comprehending others in overlap, by testing peoples’ ability to multitask with two different language tasks. She found that people are able to carry out some subprocesses in planning speech while listening to speech, but other subprocesses are postponed and seem unable to be done while doing another task. Fairs also found that some subprocesses in tasks are carried out at the same time, but some of these processes in the secondary task are carried out again (they appear to be carried out twice). Thus, although during conversation planning what we want to say while listening to others feels effortless, a complicated set of processes coordinating the two tasks is going on under the hood.

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