School of Psychology

World-leading research and teaching


Psychologist helps debunk theory of why our brains can predict the next word

12 April 2018

When people read or listen to a conversation, their brains sometimes pro-actively predict which words come next.

Research carried out in 2005 suggested that these brain predictions are very detailed and can even include the first sound of an upcoming word. However, these findings have never been replicated since the study was published.

Now a team of scientists, including Dr Heather Ferguson, has demonstrated that the predictive function of the human language system may operate differently than previously thought.

The latest research involved a large-scale brain imaging study, carried out in part at Kent. More than 300 participants read sentences that were presented one word at a time, while electrical brain activity was recorded at the scalp. The findings demonstrated that there is no convincing evidence for the original claim.

Read the full story at the Kent News Centre.

 

School of Psychology - Keynes College, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NP

Contact us

Last Updated: 19/02/2015