Staudte, Maria

Low Predictability: An Empirical Comparison of Paradigms Used for Sentence Comprehension

29th Annual Conference on Human Sentence Processing (CUNY), Gainesville, FL, 2016.

Contexts that constrain upcoming words to some higher or lower extent can be composed differently but are typically all evaluated using cloze-probability (Rayner & Well, 1996). Less predicted words were found to correlate with more negative N400 (e.g., Frank et al., 2015; Kutas & Hillyard, 1984) and longer reading times (Rayner & Well, 1996; Smith & Levy, 2013). Recently, however, it has been suggested that predictability, as in cloze-probability, is only one influence on processing cost (e.g., DeLong et al., 2014). As DeLong et al. show, differences in plausibility of words with similar cloze-probability also affect processing of such words, reflected in different ERP components. This hints at a difference between frequency-based and deeper semantic processing. Moreover, a relatively novel measure, the Index of Cognitive Activity (ICA) capturing pupil jitter, has been linked to cognitive load and predictability (Demberg et al., 2013).