Talking is harder than listening: The time course of dual-task costs during naturalistic conversation.
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Many studies have shown that the cognitive demands of language use are a substantial cause of central dual-task costs, including costs on concurrent driving performance. More recently, several studies have considered whether language production or comprehension is inherently more difficult with respect to costs on concurrent performance, with mixed results. This assessment is particularly difficult given the open question of how one should best equate and compare production and comprehension demands and performance. The present study used 2 very different approaches to address this question. Experiment 1 assessed manual tracking performance concurrently with a conventional labouratory task, comparing dual-task costs with comprehension and verification versus production of category items. Experiment 2 adopted an extreme ecological and functional approach to this question by assessing dual-task manual tracking costs concurrent with continuous, naturalistic, 2-way conversation, allowing event-related analysis of continuous tracking relative to onsets and offsets of natural production and comprehension events. Over both experiments, tracking performance was worse with concurrent production versus comprehension demands. We suggest that by at least 1 important functional metric-performance in natural, everyday conversation-talking is indeed harder than listening. (PsycINFO Database Record
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