ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (1): 1-14.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00001

• 研究构想 •    下一篇


李琳(), 赵赛男, 张俐娟, 王敬欣   

  1. 教育部人文社会科学重点研究基地天津师范大学心理与行为研究院, 天津师范大学心理学部, 国民心理健康评估与促进协同创新中心, 天津 300387
  • 收稿日期:2021-03-10 出版日期:2022-01-15 发布日期:2021-11-25
  • 基金资助:

Understanding mechanisms of prediction error cost in Chinese reading for older adults

LI Lin(), ZHAO Sainan, ZHANG Lijuan, WANG Jingxin   

  1. Key Research Base of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education, Academy of Psychology and Behavior, Tianjin Normal University; Faculty of Psychology, Tianjin Normal University; Center of Collaborative Innovation for Assessment and Promotion of Mental Health, Tianjin 300387, China
  • Received:2021-03-10 Online:2022-01-15 Published:2021-11-25


阅读的认知加工机制随年龄变老只发生了量变还是也产生了质变, 是毕生发展研究领域的重要问题。要进行有效的语言处理, 读者必须结合已有的经验知识和当前语境对即将出现的信息进行预测加工。因此, 要解决上述问题就要回答老年人阅读中预测加工机制发生了怎样变化, 即预测误差成本是如何产生的。研究拟采用眼动脑电同步记录技术, 在自然阅读过程中实时获取语言处理的行为和神经指标, 聚焦老年人预测误差成本的产生机制, 主要从副中央凹视觉、工作记忆负荷及语言能力三方面解释预测误差成本产生的原因。研究成果对构建汉语阅读的毕生发展模型有重要意义。

关键词: 语境效应, 预测误差成本, 汉语阅读, 老化效应, 眼动脑电同步记录


An important question for research on reading across the lifespan concerns whether mechanisms of cognitive processing undergo only quantitative changes or also qualitative changes with aging. To process written language effectively, readers use their existing knowledge to make predictive inferences about linguistic information. Quite often this will facilitate the processing of newly acquired information but will sometimes incur a processing cost due to predictive error. As Older adults appear to rely more heavily on lexical prediction during reading (Zhao et al., 2019, 2021). However, it is currently unknown whether, like young adults, they experience a processing cost due to predictive error, and whether the magnitude of this cost differs across age adult groups. Accordingly, the present research aims to understand the processing consequence of predictive error in both young and older adults, using methods that can shed light on both the behavioral and neural bases of these effects. This will be achieved using novel co-registration methods that synchronize the recording of electroencephalographic (EEG) signals with eye movements, so that behavioral and neural indices of language processing can be acquired simultaneously, in real-time, during natural reading. In particular, this approach will enable the analysis of fixated-related potentials (FRPs), which are averaged EEG waveforms time-locked to a fixation on a target word in a sentence during normal reading.
Study 1 will manipulate whether a target word is predictable from the prior sentence context, using contexts in which the target word is predictable, ones in which it is unpredictable, and neutral contexts containing an unpredictable word. Crucially, comparisons of an unpredictable word in neutral compared to constraining contexts will provide a measure of prediction error, which is the cost incurred when the target word is unpredicted in a constraining context. The study will investigate the behavioral and neural correlates of this prediction error using a combination of eye movement measures and FRPs for target words. Moreover, by investigating age differences in these effects (i.e., for young compared to older adults) the study will reveal whether this prediction error differs across adult age groups.
Study 2 will test these effects further by examining both the contribution to the prediction error cost of parafoveal information availability and individual differences in visual, cognitive and linguistic abilities. To examine the contribution of these individual differences, we will comprehensively assess the visual, cognitive and linguistic abilities of young and older adult participants prior their taking part in experiments. We will obtain information about participants’ educational background, vocabulary knowledge and recent reading experience to match participants in terms of formal educational experience and to obtain indices of linguistic experience. In addition, we will assess processing speed, working memory, and inhibition as measures of cognitive capabilities. The data obtained will be used for the linear mixed-effects modelling of Study 3. Experiment 1 will use the boundary paradigm to investigate age differences in the prediction error cost when parafoveal information is available or not. The aim of this experiment is to establish whether limiting the availability of parafoveal information about an upcoming word differentially impacts lexical prediction by young and older adults. Experiment 2 will use masking text paradigm to investigate the aging effects on prediction error cost under high or low working memory load conditions. The aim of this experiment is to explore the effect of working memory load on prediction processing mechanism of young and older readers. Finally, in Experiment 3, the older adult participants will be divided into good and poor reading skill groups to examine whether there is a difference in the prediction error cost for older participants with good and poor reading skills as compared to skilled young adult readers. This will reveal how reading skills mediates predictive processing by older adults.
Study 3 will use linear mixed-effects modelling and data-mining methods. All relevant factors will be included in the model analysis as covariates to investigate their effects on the prediction processing of older readers. Moreover, survival analysis and distribution analysis will be adopted to investigate the time course and individual differences of the above-mentioned effects (using data from Study 1 and 2).
The findings from these studies will provide important insights into the nature of effects of cognitive aging and individual differences in visual, cognitive and linguistic abilities on neural and cognitive indices of word prediction in reading, and will form the basis for future models of these effects in Chinese reading. Moreover, the findings will shed light on the contribution of parafoveal processing, memory load, and reading skill on the predictive abilities of older adult readers.

Key words: contextual effects, prediction error cost, Chinese reading, aging effects, co-registration of eye movements and EEG