Combining EEG and virtual reality to investigate the processing of quantifiers and scalar implicatures in the context of partial information

Team: Maria Spychalska (ImpliPer, U Cologne) and David Peeters (MPI Nijmegen)

The goal of the collaboration is to combine immersive virtual reality and electroencephalography to investigate the role of perspective taking in the processing of sentences with quantifiers. We test whether listeners take the speaker’s or egocentric perspective in dyadic, communicative situations in which the listener’s and the speaker’s information about the context model diverge. We contrast sentences that are unambiguously true or false with respect to context models with those that are underinformative by violating the scalar implicature. Virtual reality will be used to create an ecologically valid, naturalistic experimental scenario, while still retaining the required experimental control to reliably record electrophysiological brain activity.