Research project title: Does language production support prediction in comprehension? Electrophysiological insights from typical speech and stuttering
Research in language comprehension showed that the listener/reader does not passively attend to linguistic stimuli, but uses the available information to actively predict what is likely to be encountered. Some lines of research suggested that these predictions are generated by engaging the production system. During language production concepts to express are mapped onto lexical items, phonological forms, and articulatory programs. People may use these processes for prediction. However, it is still unclear whether and to what extent this is true. Do we internally simulate utterances and use the production system to predict other people’s words? Do we predict just abstract linguistic information or also sensory information? Are motor-speech processes relevant for prediction and for attending to speech?
My PhD project aims at studying the mechanisms involved in predictive processing during speech comprehension and whether there are links with processes of speech production. To do so, I use electroencephalography to study neural oscillations (time-frequency modulations), event-related potentials (ERPs), and speech-brain entrainment in both adults with typically-developed language and adults with persistent developmental stuttering. I actively collaborate with researchers at the IRCCS Ospedale San Camillo (Venice, Italy) and the BCBL – Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain).
Other research interests: the language faculty and the language-ready brain, language and numerical cognition interface, cognitive biology and evolution of cognition, evolutionary linguistics.