Does predictive processing imply predictive coding in models of spoken word recognition?

AbstractPervasive behavioral and neural evidence for predictive processing has led to claims that language processing depends upon predictive coding. In some cases, this may reflect a conflation of terms, but predictive coding formally is a computational mechanism where only deviations from top- down expectations are passed between levels of representation. We evaluate three models’ ability to simulate predictive processing and ask whether they exhibit the putative hallmark of formal predictive coding (reduced signal when input matches expectations). Of crucial interest, TRACE, an interactive activation model that does not explicitly implement prediction, exhibits both predictive processing and model- internal signal reduction. This may indicate that interactive activation is functionally equivalent or approximant to predictive coding, or that caution is warranted in interpreting neural signal reduction as diagnostic of predictive coding.

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