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Additive effects of repetition and predictability during comprehension: evidence from event-related potentials.

Chow WY, Lago S, Barrios S, Parker D, Morini G, Lau E - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Previous research has shown that neural responses to words during sentence comprehension are sensitive to both lexical repetition and a word's predictability in context.While previous research has often contrasted the effects of these variables (e.g. by looking at cases in which word repetition violates sentence-level constraints), little is known about how they work in tandem.Using event-related brain potentials (ERPs), we show that word repetition and predictability have qualitatively similar and additive effects on the N400 amplitude.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Linguistics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, United States of America; Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language, Donostia - San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Previous research has shown that neural responses to words during sentence comprehension are sensitive to both lexical repetition and a word's predictability in context. While previous research has often contrasted the effects of these variables (e.g. by looking at cases in which word repetition violates sentence-level constraints), little is known about how they work in tandem. In the current study we examine how recent exposure to a word and its predictability in context combine to impact lexical semantic processing. We devise a novel paradigm that combines reading comprehension with a recognition memory task, allowing for an orthogonal manipulation of a word's predictability and its repetition status. Using event-related brain potentials (ERPs), we show that word repetition and predictability have qualitatively similar and additive effects on the N400 amplitude. We propose that prior exposure to a word and predictability impact lexical semantic processing in an additive and independent fashion.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Average ERP waveforms at all 29 scalp sites in the old (solid line) and new (dashed line) unexpected conditions.
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pone-0099199-g004: Average ERP waveforms at all 29 scalp sites in the old (solid line) and new (dashed line) unexpected conditions.

Mentions: Figure 2 shows the grand average ERPs at PZ to target words in all four conditions and the topographic distribution of the repetition effect (new minus old) separately for the unexpected and expected conditions in the 300–400 ms time interval. Figures 3 and 4 show the grand average ERPs across all scalp sites in the expected conditions (old vs. new) and unexpected (old vs. new) conditions respectively. Visual inspection indicates that both experimental factors had a clear effect on the N400: the amplitude of the N400 was reduced for old relative to new target words, and it was also reduced for expected relative to unexpected target words. Table 1 shows the results of the statistical analyses in both time-windows. We report statistics for significant main effects and interactions below.


Additive effects of repetition and predictability during comprehension: evidence from event-related potentials.

Chow WY, Lago S, Barrios S, Parker D, Morini G, Lau E - PLoS ONE (2014)

Average ERP waveforms at all 29 scalp sites in the old (solid line) and new (dashed line) unexpected conditions.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4048264&req=5

pone-0099199-g004: Average ERP waveforms at all 29 scalp sites in the old (solid line) and new (dashed line) unexpected conditions.
Mentions: Figure 2 shows the grand average ERPs at PZ to target words in all four conditions and the topographic distribution of the repetition effect (new minus old) separately for the unexpected and expected conditions in the 300–400 ms time interval. Figures 3 and 4 show the grand average ERPs across all scalp sites in the expected conditions (old vs. new) and unexpected (old vs. new) conditions respectively. Visual inspection indicates that both experimental factors had a clear effect on the N400: the amplitude of the N400 was reduced for old relative to new target words, and it was also reduced for expected relative to unexpected target words. Table 1 shows the results of the statistical analyses in both time-windows. We report statistics for significant main effects and interactions below.

Bottom Line: Previous research has shown that neural responses to words during sentence comprehension are sensitive to both lexical repetition and a word's predictability in context.While previous research has often contrasted the effects of these variables (e.g. by looking at cases in which word repetition violates sentence-level constraints), little is known about how they work in tandem.Using event-related brain potentials (ERPs), we show that word repetition and predictability have qualitatively similar and additive effects on the N400 amplitude.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Linguistics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, United States of America; Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language, Donostia - San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Previous research has shown that neural responses to words during sentence comprehension are sensitive to both lexical repetition and a word's predictability in context. While previous research has often contrasted the effects of these variables (e.g. by looking at cases in which word repetition violates sentence-level constraints), little is known about how they work in tandem. In the current study we examine how recent exposure to a word and its predictability in context combine to impact lexical semantic processing. We devise a novel paradigm that combines reading comprehension with a recognition memory task, allowing for an orthogonal manipulation of a word's predictability and its repetition status. Using event-related brain potentials (ERPs), we show that word repetition and predictability have qualitatively similar and additive effects on the N400 amplitude. We propose that prior exposure to a word and predictability impact lexical semantic processing in an additive and independent fashion.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus