Mediating factors in predictive language processing: an EEG study on the effects of working memory, inhibitory control and processing speed.
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Recent findings in language comprehension research suggest that there might be important individual differences in the extent to which individuals engage in predictive sentence processing. The study reported here employed EEG to investigate the effects of individual differences in working memory capacity (as measured by digit span task), inhibitory control ability (as measured by flanker task) and processing speed (as measured by symbol substitution task) on predictive processing. Specifically, we looked at the predictability effect at a gender-marked determiner preceding a highly predictable noun. We obtained an overall negative deflection in ERPs in the processing of the unexpected determiner in comparison to an expected one. The individual differences, however, did not modulate the size of this effect. Possible reasons for the lack of such modulation by individual differences are discussed.