Is preparing for a language switch like preparing for a task switch? (article)
Lavric, A; Clapp, A; East, A; et al.Elchlepp, H; Monsell, S
Date: 19 July 2018
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
American Psychological Association
A key index of top-down control in task switching-preparation for a switch-is underexplored in language switching. The well-documented EEG "signature" of preparation for a task switch-a protracted positive-polarity modulation over the posterior scalp-has thus far not been reported in language switching, and the interpretation of ...
A key index of top-down control in task switching-preparation for a switch-is underexplored in language switching. The well-documented EEG "signature" of preparation for a task switch-a protracted positive-polarity modulation over the posterior scalp-has thus far not been reported in language switching, and the interpretation of previously reported effects of preparation on language switching performance is complicated by confounding factors. In an experiment using event-related potentials (ERPs) and an optimized picture-naming paradigm that addressed these confounds the language was specified by an auditory cue on every trial and changed unpredictably. There were two key manipulations. First, the cue-stimulus interval allowed either generous (1,500 ms) or little (100 ms) opportunity for preparation. Second, to explore the interplay between bottom-up and top-down language selection, we compared a highly transparent and familiar "supercue"-the name of the language spoken in that language to a relatively opaque cue (short speeded-up fragment of national anthem). Preparation for a switch elicited a brain potential strongly reminiscent of the posterior switch positivity documented in task switching. As previously shown in task switching, its amplitude inversely predicted the performance "switch cost," demonstrated by our ERP analyses contingent on reaction time (RT). This overlap in the electrophysiological correlates of preparing to switch tasks and languages suggests domain-general processes for top-down selection of task-set and language for production. But, the surprisingly small language switch cost following the supercue in the short CSI suggests that rapid and (possibly automatic) bottom-up selection-not typically observed in task switching-may also occur. (PsycINFO Database Record
College of Life and Environmental Sciences
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