Is there a common oscillatory brain mechanism for producing and predicting language?
Monsalve, Irene F.
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Nicola Molinaro, Irene F. Monsalve & Mikel Lizarazu (2016) Is there a common oscillatory brain mechanism for producing and predicting language?, Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 31:1, 145-158, DOI: 10.1080/23273798.2015.1077978
Recent proposals have suggested that language prediction is supported by the neurophysiological mechanisms involved in language production. Both prediction and production in language imply information processing percolating down from abstract semantic representations to lower-level processing steps, either for articulation (action) or active sensation (perception). Language production studies have repeatedly reported desynchronisation of oscillatory beta power (13– 30 Hz) over the left frontal cortex during word generation. Crucially, predictive coding theories propose that the beta frequency channel mediates top-down propagation of information during prediction. The present study evaluates initial experimental evidence on pre-stimulus activity during speech production and discusses the similar oscillatory dynamics involved in preparation for perception of words. We try to better characterise what processing dynamics the prestimulus beta-band activity represents, illustrating with some results from our lab. This evidence motivates the need for more fine-grained psycholinguistic paradigms to better characterise whether prediction and production are supported by similar neurophysiological mechanisms.