Prediction of upcoming speech under fluent and disfluent conditions: Eye tracking evidence from immersive virtual reality
Huizeling, E., Peeters, D., & Hagoort, P.
Prediction of upcoming speech under fluent and disfluent conditions: Eye tracking evidence from immersive virtual reality. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 37
(4), 481-508. doi:10.1080/23273798.2021.1994621.
Traditional experiments indicate that prediction is important for efficient speech processing. In three virtual reality visual world paradigm experiments, we tested whether such findings hold in naturalistic settings (Experiment 1) and provided novel insights into whether disfluencies in speech (repairs/hesitations) inform one’s predictions in rich environments (Experiments 2–3). Experiment 1 supports that listeners predict upcoming speech in naturalistic environments, with higher proportions of anticipatory target fixations in predictable compared to unpredictable trials. In Experiments 2–3, disfluencies reduced anticipatory fixations towards predicted referents, compared to conjunction (Experiment 2) and fluent (Experiment 3) sentences. Unexpectedly, Experiment 2 provided no evidence that participants made new predictions from a repaired verb. Experiment 3 provided novel findings that fixations towards the speaker increase upon hearing a hesitation, supporting current theories of how hesitations influence sentence processing. Together, these findings unpack listeners’ use of visual (objects/speaker) and auditory (speech/disfluencies) information when predicting upcoming words.
Share this page