Abstract

New theories of monitoring in language production, regardless of their mechanistic differences, all posit monitoring mechanisms that share general computational principles with action monitoring. This perspective, if accurate, would predict that many electrophysiological signatures of performance monitoring should be recoverable from language production tasks. In this study, we examined both error-related and feedback-related EEG indices of performance monitoring in the context of a typing-to-dictation task. To disentangle the contribution of the external from internal monitoring processes, we created a condition where participants immediately saw the word they typed (the immediate-feedback condition) versus one in which displaying the word was delayed until the end of the trial (the delayed-feedback condition). The removal of immediate visual feedback prompted a stronger reliance on internal monitoring processes, which resulted in lower correction rates and a clear error-related negativity. Compatible with domain-general monitoring views, an error positivity was only recovered under conditions where errors were detected or had a high likelihood of being detected. Examination of the feedback-related indices (feedback-related negativity and frontocentral positivity) revealed a two-stage process of integration of internal and external information. The recovery of a full range of well-established EEG indices of action monitoring in a language production task strongly endorses domain-general views of monitoring. Such indices, in turn, are helpful in understanding how information from different monitoring channels are combined.

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