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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

Interaction plot showing additive effects of repetition and predictability in mean amplitude during the N400 time window (300–400 ms) at the midline posterior region.The expected and unexpected conditions are plotted in black and red respectively.
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pone-0099199-g005: Interaction plot showing additive effects of repetition and predictability in mean amplitude during the N400 time window (300–400 ms) at the midline posterior region.The expected and unexpected conditions are plotted in black and red respectively.

Mentions: Consistent with these observations, omnibus repeated measures ANOVA in the 300–400 ms interval revealed significant main effects of both repetition and predictability. The main effect of repetition was driven by ERPs being less negative in the old than in the new conditions (F(1,23)  = 14.94, p<.01). The main effect of predictability was driven by ERPs being less negative in the expected than in the unexpected conditions (F(1,23)  = 11.51, p<.01). Both effects were broadly distributed across the scalp, as shown by the lack of significant interactions with topographic factors. Crucially, no significant interaction between these two factors was obtained (all Fs<2). This additive pattern is displayed in Figure 5, which shows the average ERP amplitude in the 300–400 ms interval in the midline posterior region. The main effect of predictability and repetition and the absence of an interaction between them also held in two alternative time-windows that have been previously used to assess N400 effects (200–400 ms and 300–500 ms).


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)

Interaction plot showing additive effects of repetition and predictability in mean amplitude during the N400 time window (300–400 ms) at the midline posterior region.The expected and unexpected conditions are plotted in black and red respectively.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0099199-g005: Interaction plot showing additive effects of repetition and predictability in mean amplitude during the N400 time window (300–400 ms) at the midline posterior region.The expected and unexpected conditions are plotted in black and red respectively.
Mentions: Consistent with these observations, omnibus repeated measures ANOVA in the 300–400 ms interval revealed significant main effects of both repetition and predictability. The main effect of repetition was driven by ERPs being less negative in the old than in the new conditions (F(1,23)  = 14.94, p<.01). The main effect of predictability was driven by ERPs being less negative in the expected than in the unexpected conditions (F(1,23)  = 11.51, p<.01). Both effects were broadly distributed across the scalp, as shown by the lack of significant interactions with topographic factors. Crucially, no significant interaction between these two factors was obtained (all Fs<2). This additive pattern is displayed in Figure 5, which shows the average ERP amplitude in the 300–400 ms interval in the midline posterior region. The main effect of predictability and repetition and the absence of an interaction between them also held in two alternative time-windows that have been previously used to assess N400 effects (200–400 ms and 300–500 ms).

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