Talk at MEG UK 2017 in Oxford


Lucy MacGregor, a researcher at the MRC CBU in Cambridge who has been collaborating with Jenni Rodd, will be giving a talk  at the upcoming MEG UK conference which will take place in Oxford 22-24 March 2017. The title and abstract for the talk can be found below, along with a link for further information about the conference:

Title: ‘The neuromagnetic time course of semantic ambiguity resolution in speech comprehension.’

Authors: Lucy MacGregor, Matt Davis, and Olaf Hauk

Abstract: ‘Semantically ambiguous words challenge comprehension, particularly when disambiguation is delayed and serves to select a non-dominant meaning making reinterpretation necessary for accurate comprehension. Using MEG we teased apart neural responses associated with meaning selection and subsequent reinterpretation during semantic ambiguity resolution. Volunteers heard sentences containing AMBIGUOUS words and delayed disambiguation (e.g., Sally worried that the BALL was going to be too crowded). The sentences engage selection and reinterpretation processes compared to sentences: (1) with unambiguous control words (e.g., PUB substituted for BALL) or (2) in which the final word no longer favours the non-dominant meaning (expensive, not crowded). Four variants of 80 such sentences were presented in a two-by-two factorial design. Greater activity for ambiguous compared to control words (p<.05) was observed over left fronto-temporal regions 420-800 ms after word offset. The response correlated positively with individual differences in comprehension which was predicted by participants’ vocabulary scores. Reinterpretation was associated with additional neural activity (p=.06) -108 to -12 ms after sentence-final word-offset over bilateral temporal regions. Preliminary source estimation localised selection processes to right inferior frontal gyrus and reinterpretation processes to temporal cortex. Implications for the neurocognitive mechanisms of ambiguity resolution will be discussed.’

Further information available here: