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Stinkeste, C., Vincent, M.A., Delrue, L., & Brunellière, A. (2023). Between alpha and gamma oscillations: Neural signatures of linguistic predictions and listener's attention to speaker's communication intention. Biological Psychology, 180, 108583.

When listeners hear a message produced by their interlocutor, they can predict upcoming words thanks to the
sentential context and their attention can be focused on the speaker’s communication intention. In two elec-
troencephalographical (EEG) studies, we investigated the oscillatory correlates of prediction in spoken-language
comprehension and how they are modulated by the listener’s attention. Sentential contexts which were strongly
predictive of a particular word were ended by a possessive adjective either matching the gender of the predicted
word or not. Alpha, beta and gamma oscillations were studied as they were considered to play a crucial role in
the predictive process. While evidence of word prediction was related to alpha fluctuations when listeners
focused their attention on sentence meaning, changes in high-gamma oscillations were triggered by word pre-
diction when listeners focused their attention on the speaker’s communication intention. Independently of the
endogenous attention to a level of linguistic information, the oscillatory correlates of word predictions in lan-
guage comprehension were sensitive to the prosodic emphasis produced by the speaker at a late stage. These
findings thus bear major implications for understanding the neural mechanisms that support predictive pro-
cessing in spoken-language comprehension.