Early anticipation lies behind the speed of response in conversation

L. Magyari, MCM Bastiaansen, J.P. Ruiter, S.C. Levinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


RTs in conversation, with average gaps of 200 msec and often less, beat standard RTs, despite the complexity of response and the lag in speech production (600 msec or more). This can only be achieved by anticipation of timing and content of turns in conversation, about which little is known.Using EEGand an experimental task with conversational stimuli, we show that estimation of turn durations are based on anticipating the way the turn would be completed.We found a neuronal correlate of turn-end anticipation localized in ACC and inferior parietal lobule, namely a beta-frequency desynchronization as early as 1250 msec, before the end of the turn.We suggest that anticipation of the other’s utterance leads to accurately timed transitions in everyday conversations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2530-2539
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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