Language Production in Shared Task Settings

Typically, people speak in the context of social interaction. Yet, surprisingly little is known about how the neuro-cognitive processes of language production are shaped by social interaction. Drawing upon a well-established effect in language production we investigate the degree of semantic interference experienced when naming a sequence of pictures together with a task partner. In single subject settings, naming latencies increase with each new picture of a given semantic category, so-called cumulative semantic interference (e.g., Howard et al., 2006). Recently, it has been demonstrated that naming latencies not only increase in response to speakers’ own prior naming of semantically related pictures, but also in response to their task partner naming pictures (Hoedemaker, Ernst, Meyer, & Belke, 2017; Kuhlen & Abdel Rahman, 2017). This suggests that task partners represent each other’s actions and engage in lexicalization on behalf of their partner. Based on these findings we want to specify (1) the mechanism behind partner-elicited semantic interference, (2) the extent to which lexical access on behalf of the partner reflects the specific nature of the partner’s task (and not just the own task), and (3) whether partner-elicited lexical access depends on characteristics of the task partner or the task setting. Finally, we want to understand (4) how our findings within the framework of joint picture naming scale up to conversation. We expect insights into these questions through a series of experiments based on behavioral observations of latencies during joint picture naming and electrophysiological, event-related recordings. The results from the here proposed project will contribute to a better understanding of language production during social interaction as well as deepen our understanding of how flexibly the semantic system adapts to social context.

Principal Investigators
Abdel Rahman, Rasha Prof. Dr. rer. nat. (Details) (Neuralcognitive Psychology)

Further project members
Kuhlen-Ruber, Anna Katharina Ph.D. (Details) (Neuralcognitive Psychology)

participating organizational facilities of the HU

Duration of Project
Start date: 04/2019
End date: 03/2022

Research Areas

Research Areas

Last updated on 2021-08-02 at 14:15