Observed and performed error signals in auditory lexical decisions
10 februari 2021
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control; Cognitive aspects of Multilingualism; Language & Communication; Speech Comprehension
This study investigates the error processing components in the EEG signal of Performers and Observers using an auditory lexical decision task, in which participants heard spoken items and decided for each item if it was a real word or not. Pairs of participants were tested in both the role of the Performer and the Observer. In the literature, an Error Related Negativity-Error Positivity complex has been identified for performed (ERN-Pe) and observed (oERN-oPe) errors. While these effects have been widely studied for performance errors in speeded decision tasks relying on visual input, relatively little is known about the performance monitoring signatures in observed language processing based on auditory input. In the lexical decision task, native Dutch speakers listened to real Dutch Words, Non-Words, and crucially, long Pseudowords that resembled words until the final syllable and were shown to be error-prone in a pilot study, because they were responded to too soon. We hypothesised that the errors in the task would result in a response locked ERN-Pe pattern both for the Performer and for the Observer. Our hypothesis regarding the ERN was not supported, however a Pe-like effect, as well as a P300 were present. Analyses to disentangle lexical and error processing similarly indicated a P300 for errors, and the results furthermore pointed to differences between responses before and after word offset. The findings are interpreted as marking attention during error processing during auditory word recognition.
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