New publication on speech planning in dialogue by Sebastian Sauppe

Department member Sebastian Sauppe together with Mathias Barthel (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen) published a new paper in Cognitive Science entitled „Speech Planning at Turn Transitions in Dialog Is Associated With Increased Processing Load“.
They measured changes in pupil size (which is a psychophysiological measure of attention allocation) while participants in an experiment took turns in describing a visual display. Barthel and Sauppe showed that (a) planning what to say in a conversation while others are still speaking incurs a higher processing load than planning to speak in silence and (b) next speakers do not use their prediction about the others’ turns end to time their own planning. These findings are interesting in the light of the social dynamics of turn taking in dialogue, which usually require fast turn transitions and thus in most cases also planning while the other is still speaking — even though this goes in hand with high processing load for speakers.

Martha Mariani