Never seem to find the time: Evaluating the physiological time course of visual word recognition with regression analysis of single-item event-related potentials

Sarah Laszlo, Kara D. Federmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Visual word recognition is a process that, both hierarchically and in parallel, draws on different types of information ranging from perceptual to orthographic to semantic. A central question concerns when and how these different types of information come online and interact after a word form is initially perceived. Numerous studies addressing aspects of this question have been conducted with a variety of techniques [e.g., behaviour, eye-tracking, event-related potentials (ERPs)], and divergent theoretical models, suggesting different overall speeds of word processing, have coalesced around clusters of mostly method-specific results. Here, we examine the time course of influence of variables ranging from relatively perceptual (e.g., bigram frequency) to relatively semantic (e.g., the number of lexical associates) on ERP responses, analysed at the single-item level. Our results, in combination with a critical review of the literature, suggest methodological, analytic and theoretical factors that may have led to inconsistency in results of past studies; we will argue that consideration of these factors may lead to a reconciliation between divergent views of the speed of word recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-661
Number of pages20
JournalLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • ERPs
  • Multiple regression
  • Visual word recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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