Scientific article
Open access

Cognitive load in simultaneous interpreting: Model meets data

Published inInternational journal of bilingualism, vol. 16, no. 2, p. 228-242
Publication date2012

Seeber (2011) recently introduced a series of analytical cognitive load models, providing a detailed illustration of conjectured cognitive resource allocation during simultaneous interpreting. In this article, the authors set out to compare these models with data gathered in an experiment using task-evoked pupillary responses to measure online cognitive load during simultaneous interpreting when embedded in single-sentence context and discourse context. Verb-final and verb-initial constructions were analysed in terms of the load they cause to an inherently capacity-limited system when interpreted simultaneously into a verb-initial language like English. The results show larger pupil dilation with verb-final than with verb-initial constructions, suggesting higher cognitive load with asymmetrical structures. A tendency for reduced cognitive load in the discourse context compared to the sentence context was also found. These data support the models' prediction of an increase in cognitive load towards (and beyond) the end of verb-final constructions.

  • Cognitive load
  • Pupillometry
  • Simultaneous interpreting
  • Task-evoked pupillary responses
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
SEEBER, Kilian, KERZEL, Dirk. Cognitive load in simultaneous interpreting: Model meets data. In: International journal of bilingualism, 2012, vol. 16, n° 2, p. 228–242. doi: 10.1177/1367006911402982
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1367-0069

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