What are naturalistic
paradigms teaching us
Naturalistic paradigms of language comprehension offer a potential wealth of
information for understanding how language processing occurs in everyday use.
This information, however, is not immediately apparent and can only be interpreted
when considering 1) basic processes that underlie language comprehension (e.g.,
memory encoding, memory retrieval, integration, prediction of incoming content) 2)
processes that modulate or accompany comprehension (e.g., mood effects,
attentional biases, emotional responses) and 3) the relation between
language-induced activity and pre-existing, semantically rich baseline processes in
the brain. Considering these issues conjointly, we outline a general interpretive
framework for naturalistic studies of language. We argue that ignoring such issues
can lead to serious misinterpretations of neurobiological data.
Last updated April 2014