Testing the Efforts Model of Simultaneous Interpreting: An ERP Study
We utilized the event-related potential (ERP) technique to study neural activity associated with different levels of working memory (WM) load during simultaneous interpretation (SI) of continuous prose. The amplitude of N1 and P1 components elicited by task-irrelevant tone probes was significantly modulated as a function of WM load but not the direction of interpretation. Furthermore, the latency of the P1 increased significantly with WM load. The WM load effect on N1 latency, however, did not reach significance. Larger negativity under lower WM loads suggests that more attention is available to process the source message, providing the first electrophysiological evidence in support of the Efforts Model of SI. Relationships between the direction of interpretation and median WM load are also discussed.