Natural language involves both speaking and listening. Recent models claim that production and comprehension share aspects of processing and are linked within individuals (Pickering and Garrod, 2004, 2013; MacDonald, 2013; Dell and Chang, 2014). Evidence for this claim has come from studies of cross-modality structural priming, mainly examining processing in the direction of comprehension to production. The current study replicated these comprehension to production findings and developed a novel cross-modal structural priming paradigm from production to comprehension using a temporally sensitive online measure of comprehension, Event-Related Potentials. For Comprehension-to-Production priming, participants first listened to active or passive sentences and then described target pictures using either structure. In Production-to-Comprehension priming, participants first described a picture using either structure and then listened to target passive sentences while EEG was recorded. Comprehension-to-Production priming showed the expected passive sentence priming for syntactic choice, but not response time (RT) or average syllable duration. In Production-to-Comprehension priming, primed, versus unprimed, passive sentences elicited a reduced N400. These effects support the notion that production and comprehension share aspects of processing and are linked within the individual. Moreover, this paradigm can be used for the exploration priming at different linguistic levels as well as the influence of extra-linguistic factors on natural language use.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes