Putting language back into ecological communication contexts

Verga, L., & Kotz, S. A. (2019). Putting language back into ecological communication contexts. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 34(4), 536-544. doi:10.1080/23273798.2018.1506886.
Language is a multi-faceted form of communication. It is not until recently though that language research moved on from simple stimuli and protocols toward a more ecologically valid approach, namely “shifting” from words and simple sentences to stories with varying degrees of contextual complexity. While much needed, the use of ecologically valid stimuli such as stories should also be explored in interactive rather than individualistic experimental settings leading the way to an interactive neuroscience of language. Indeed, mounting evidence suggests that cognitive processes and their underlying neural activity significantly differ between social and individual experiences. We aim at reviewing evidence, which indicates that the characteristics of linguistic and extra-linguistic contexts may significantly influence communication–including spoken language comprehension. In doing so, we provide evidence on the use of new paradigms and methodological advancements that may enable the study of complex language features in a truly interactive, ecological way.
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