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The influence of experience on cognitive load during simultaneous interpretation


Boos, Michael; Kobi, Matthias; Elmer, Stefan; Jäncke, Lutz (2022). The influence of experience on cognitive load during simultaneous interpretation. Brain and Language, 234:105185.

Abstract

Simultaneous interpretation is a complex task that is assumed to be associated with a high workload. To corroborate this association, we measured workload during three tasks of increasing complexity: listening, shadowing, and interpreting, using electroencephalography and self-assessments in four groups of participants with varying experience in simultaneous interpretation. The self-assessment data showed that professional interpreters perceived the most workload-inducing condition, namely the interpreting task, as less demanding compared to the less experienced participants. This higher subjectively perceived workload in non-interpreters was paralleled by increasing frontal theta power values from listening to interpreting, whereas such a modulation was less pronounced in professional interpreters. Furthermore, regarding both workload measures, trainee interpreters were situated between professional interpreters and non-interpreters. Since the non-interpreters demonstrated high proficiencies and exposure in their second language, too, our findings provide evidence for an influence of interpretation training on experienced workload during simultaneous interpretation.

Abstract

Simultaneous interpretation is a complex task that is assumed to be associated with a high workload. To corroborate this association, we measured workload during three tasks of increasing complexity: listening, shadowing, and interpreting, using electroencephalography and self-assessments in four groups of participants with varying experience in simultaneous interpretation. The self-assessment data showed that professional interpreters perceived the most workload-inducing condition, namely the interpreting task, as less demanding compared to the less experienced participants. This higher subjectively perceived workload in non-interpreters was paralleled by increasing frontal theta power values from listening to interpreting, whereas such a modulation was less pronounced in professional interpreters. Furthermore, regarding both workload measures, trainee interpreters were situated between professional interpreters and non-interpreters. Since the non-interpreters demonstrated high proficiencies and exposure in their second language, too, our findings provide evidence for an influence of interpretation training on experienced workload during simultaneous interpretation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Language and Linguistics
Social Sciences & Humanities > Linguistics and Language
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Health Sciences > Speech and Hearing
Language:English
Date:November 2022
Deposited On:08 Feb 2023 15:02
Last Modified:29 May 2024 01:48
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0093-934X
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2022.105185
PubMed ID:36130466
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)