Gamma Oscillatory Activity Related to Language Prediction

J Cogn Neurosci. 2018 Aug;30(8):1075-1085. doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_01275. Epub 2018 Apr 30.


Using magnetoencephalography, the current study examined gamma activity associated with language prediction. Participants read high- and low-constraining sentences in which the final word of the sentence was either expected or unexpected. Although no consistent gamma power difference induced by the sentence-final words was found between the expected and unexpected conditions, the correlation of gamma power during the prediction and activation intervals of the sentence-final words was larger when the presented words matched with the prediction compared with when the prediction was violated or when no prediction was available. This suggests that gamma magnitude relates to the match between predicted and perceived words. Moreover, the expected words induced activity with a slower gamma frequency compared with that induced by unexpected words. Overall, the current study establishes that prediction is related to gamma power correlations and a slowing of the gamma frequency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticipation, Psychological / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory
  • Female
  • Gamma Rhythm*
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Male
  • Reading*
  • Semantics
  • Young Adult