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          Institute: MPI für Psycholinguistik     Collection: Yearbook 2010     Display Documents



ID: 453268.0, MPI für Psycholinguistik / Yearbook 2010
Semantic illusion depends on information structure: ERP evidence
Authors:Wang, Lin; Hagoort, Peter; Yang, Yufang
Language:English
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2009
Title of Journal:Brain Research
Journal Abbrev.:Brain Res.
Volume:1282
Start Page:50
End Page:56
Review Status:Peer-review
Audience:Experts Only
Intended Educational Use:No
Abstract / Description:Next to propositional content, speakers distribute information in their utterances in such a way that listeners can make a distinction between new (focused) and given (non-focused) information. This is referred to as information structure. We measured event-related
potentials (ERPs) to explore the role of information structure in semantic processing. Following different questions in wh-question-answer pairs (e.g. What kind of vegetable did Ming buy for cooking today? /Who bought the vegetables for cooking today?), the answer sentences (e.g., Ming bought eggplant/beef to cook today.) contained a critical word, which was either semantically appropriate (eggplant) or inappropriate (beef), and either focus or non-focus. The results showed a full N400 effect only when the critical words were in focus position. In non-focus position a strongly reduced N400 effect was observed, in line with the well-known semantic illusion effect. The results suggest that information structure facilitates semantic
processing by devoting more resources to focused information.
Free Keywords:Information structure Wh-question-answer pair Semantic integration Semantic illusion N400 effect
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:kastens
Affiliations:MPI für Psycholinguistik
Identifiers:LOCALID:escidoc:94959
DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2009.05.069
URL:http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/pubman/item/escidoc:9495...
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