The use of electroencephalography in language production research: A review

Lesya Y. Ganushchak*, Ingrid K. Christoffels, Niels O. Schiller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlePopular

121 Citations (Scopus)


Speech production long avoided electrophysiological experiments due to the suspicion that potential artifacts caused by muscle activity of overt speech may lead to a bad signal-to-noise ratio in the measurements. Therefore, researchers have sought to assess speech production by using indirect speech production tasks, such as tacit or implicit naming, delayed naming, or meta-linguistic tasks, such as phoneme-monitoring. Covert speech may, however, involve different processes than overt speech production. Recently, overt speech has been investigated using electroencephalography (EEG). As the number of papers pub-lished is rising steadily, this clearly indicates the increasing interest and demand for overt speech research within the field of cognitive neuroscience of language. Our main goal here is to review all currently available results of overt speech production involving EEG measurements, such as picture naming, Stroop naming, and reading aloud. We conclude that overt speech production can be successfully studied using electrophysiological mea-sures, for instance, event-related brain potentials (ERPs). We will discuss possible relevant components in the ERP waveform of speech production and aim to address the issue of how to interpret the results of ERP research using overt speech, and whether the ERP components in language production are comparable to results from other fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number208
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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