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Prediction during Comprehension

Theories of language comprehension assign a critical role to anticipatory processes. In our studies, we attempt to 1) isolate the effects of prediction from other possible factors that influence on-line language processing; 2) model individual differences in prediction during comprehension as a function of measures of cognitive control, working memory and language experience; 3) examine the content of the anticipated information. We examine these questions in monolingual and bilingual young adults and elderly populations.


Brothers, T., Swaab, T.Y., and Traxler, M. (2015). Effect of prediction and contextual support on lexical processing: Prediction takes precedence. Cognition, 136, 135–149

Boudewyn, M.A., Long, D.L. & Swaab, T.Y. (2015). Graded Expectations: Predictive Processing and the Adjustment of Expectations during Spoken Language Comprehension. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 15 (3), 607-624

Brothers, T., Swaab, T.Y., & Traxler, M.J., (2017). Goals and strategies influence lexical prediction during sentence comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language, 93, 203-216.

Choi, W., Lowder, M.W., Ferreira, F., Swaab, T.Y. &  Henderson, J.M.  (2017). Effects of word predictability and preview lexicality on eye movements during reading:  A comparison between young and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 32(3), 232-242.

Li X, Zhang Y, Xia J, Swaab T.Y. (2017). Internal mechanisms underlying anticipatory language processing: Evidence from event-related-potentials and neural oscillations. Neuropsychologia, 102, 70-81.

Dave, S., Brothers, T. & Swaab, T.Y. (2018). 1/f Neural Noise and Electrophysiological Indices of Contextual Prediction in Normative Aging. Brain Research. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2018.04.007.

Dave, S., Brothers, T., Traxler, M.J., Henderson, J.M., Ferreira, F. & Swaab, T.Y. (2018). Electrophysiological Evidence for Preserved Primacy of Lexical Prediction in Normative Aging. Neuropsychologia, 117, 135-147

Boudewyn, M.A., Blalock, A. Long, D.L.  & Swaab, T.Y (2019). Adaptation to animacy violations during listening comprehension. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience 19 (5), 1247-1258

Brothers, T., Dave, S., Hoversten, L.J., Traxler, M.J. & Swaab, T.Y. (2019). Flexible predictions during listening comprehension: Speaker reliability affects anticipatory processes. Neuropsychologia, 135, 107225

Dave, S., Brothers, T., Hoversten L., Traxler, M.J., & Swaab, T.Y. (2021). Cognitive control mediates age-related changes in flexible anticipatory processing during listening comprehension. Brain Research.