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Semantic Involvement of Initial and Final Lexical Embeddings during Sense-Making: The Advantage of Starting Late.

van Alphen PM, van Berkum JJ - Front Psychol (2012)

Bottom Line: Although carrier words with an initial embedding (day in daisy) did not elicit an embedding-related N400 effect relative to matched control words without embedding, carrier words with a final embedding (dean in sardine) did elicit such an effect.Together with prior work from our lab and the results of a Shortlist B simulation, our findings suggest that listeners do semantically interpret embedded words, albeit not under all conditions.We explain the latter by assuming that the sense-making system adjusts its hypothesis for how to interpret the external input at every new syllable, in line with recent ideas of active sampling in perception.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
During spoken language interpretation, listeners rapidly relate the meaning of each individual word to what has been said before. However, spoken words often contain spurious other words, like day in daisy, or dean in sardine. Do listeners also relate the meaning of such unintended, spurious words to the prior context? We used ERPs to look for transient meaning-based N400 effects in sentences that were completely plausible at the level of words intended by the speaker, but contained an embedded word whose meaning clashed with the context. Although carrier words with an initial embedding (day in daisy) did not elicit an embedding-related N400 effect relative to matched control words without embedding, carrier words with a final embedding (dean in sardine) did elicit such an effect. Together with prior work from our lab and the results of a Shortlist B simulation, our findings suggest that listeners do semantically interpret embedded words, albeit not under all conditions. We explain the latter by assuming that the sense-making system adjusts its hypothesis for how to interpret the external input at every new syllable, in line with recent ideas of active sampling in perception.

No MeSH data available.


Grand average event-related potentials from nine scalp sites to coherent carrier words with final embeddings (solid line), and to coherent control words without embeddings (dashed line), after baseline correction in the 200-ms prestimulus interval, time-locked to the onset of the second syllable of the carrier/control words, which corresponds to the onset of the final embeddings. The bars in the lower left corner indicate the offset of the embedded words (EWOFF), and the offset of the carrier words (CWOFF).
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Figure 3: Grand average event-related potentials from nine scalp sites to coherent carrier words with final embeddings (solid line), and to coherent control words without embeddings (dashed line), after baseline correction in the 200-ms prestimulus interval, time-locked to the onset of the second syllable of the carrier/control words, which corresponds to the onset of the final embeddings. The bars in the lower left corner indicate the offset of the embedded words (EWOFF), and the offset of the carrier words (CWOFF).

Mentions: Remarkably, there is now a noticeable difference between the carrier words with final embeddings and the control words without embeddings (when time-locked to the onset of the carrier and control words). To statistically test if this difference indeed reflected an N400 effect caused by the presence of a final embedding, we time-locked the waveforms to the onset of the second syllable (for the carrier word this corresponds to the onset of the embedded word, e.g., fee; for the control words it corresponds to a nonsense syllable, e.g., raf). The new waveforms are displayed in Figure 3. The results show a significant larger negativity between 300 and 500 ms for the carrier words with final embeddings relative to the control words [F(1, 27) = 15.06, p = 0.001].


Semantic Involvement of Initial and Final Lexical Embeddings during Sense-Making: The Advantage of Starting Late.

van Alphen PM, van Berkum JJ - Front Psychol (2012)

Grand average event-related potentials from nine scalp sites to coherent carrier words with final embeddings (solid line), and to coherent control words without embeddings (dashed line), after baseline correction in the 200-ms prestimulus interval, time-locked to the onset of the second syllable of the carrier/control words, which corresponds to the onset of the final embeddings. The bars in the lower left corner indicate the offset of the embedded words (EWOFF), and the offset of the carrier words (CWOFF).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3375653&req=5

Figure 3: Grand average event-related potentials from nine scalp sites to coherent carrier words with final embeddings (solid line), and to coherent control words without embeddings (dashed line), after baseline correction in the 200-ms prestimulus interval, time-locked to the onset of the second syllable of the carrier/control words, which corresponds to the onset of the final embeddings. The bars in the lower left corner indicate the offset of the embedded words (EWOFF), and the offset of the carrier words (CWOFF).
Mentions: Remarkably, there is now a noticeable difference between the carrier words with final embeddings and the control words without embeddings (when time-locked to the onset of the carrier and control words). To statistically test if this difference indeed reflected an N400 effect caused by the presence of a final embedding, we time-locked the waveforms to the onset of the second syllable (for the carrier word this corresponds to the onset of the embedded word, e.g., fee; for the control words it corresponds to a nonsense syllable, e.g., raf). The new waveforms are displayed in Figure 3. The results show a significant larger negativity between 300 and 500 ms for the carrier words with final embeddings relative to the control words [F(1, 27) = 15.06, p = 0.001].

Bottom Line: Although carrier words with an initial embedding (day in daisy) did not elicit an embedding-related N400 effect relative to matched control words without embedding, carrier words with a final embedding (dean in sardine) did elicit such an effect.Together with prior work from our lab and the results of a Shortlist B simulation, our findings suggest that listeners do semantically interpret embedded words, albeit not under all conditions.We explain the latter by assuming that the sense-making system adjusts its hypothesis for how to interpret the external input at every new syllable, in line with recent ideas of active sampling in perception.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
During spoken language interpretation, listeners rapidly relate the meaning of each individual word to what has been said before. However, spoken words often contain spurious other words, like day in daisy, or dean in sardine. Do listeners also relate the meaning of such unintended, spurious words to the prior context? We used ERPs to look for transient meaning-based N400 effects in sentences that were completely plausible at the level of words intended by the speaker, but contained an embedded word whose meaning clashed with the context. Although carrier words with an initial embedding (day in daisy) did not elicit an embedding-related N400 effect relative to matched control words without embedding, carrier words with a final embedding (dean in sardine) did elicit such an effect. Together with prior work from our lab and the results of a Shortlist B simulation, our findings suggest that listeners do semantically interpret embedded words, albeit not under all conditions. We explain the latter by assuming that the sense-making system adjusts its hypothesis for how to interpret the external input at every new syllable, in line with recent ideas of active sampling in perception.

No MeSH data available.