Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Linguistics

Journal Title

PLOS ONE

Pub Date

6-6-2014

Publisher

PLOS

Volume

9

Journal Article URL

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0099199

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0099199

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