Seminar SCALab 01/06/2023scalab Manifestations scientifiques Séminaire
Gareth Gaskell, University of York (https://www.york.ac.uk/psychology/staff/academicstaff/mgg5/)
The role of sleep and episodic memory in linguistic interaction
There is now a substantial body of evidence relating to sleep's involvement in language learning, for example in the case of the consolidation of novel words. However, less attention has been focused on how sleep might be relevant for the broader process of language comprehension in which none of the lexical elements are unfamiliar. Here, I will argue that sleep still has a subtle role to play in supporting the maintenance of discourse knowledge and the updating of lexical knowledge. In its strongest form, my account proposes that every sentence comprehension episode is the basis of a new associative memory that can then be consolidated over sleep if it is not first lost through interference. These episodic memories can then influence subsequent linguistic experience, alongside more crystallised linguistic knowledge. The episodic context account will be described in relation to recent studies from our lab using (1) word-meaning priming and (2) sentence memory tasks across intervals spanning between 20 minutes and 24 hours.