Right hemisphere sensitivity to word- And sentence-level context: Evidence from event-related brain potentials

Seana Coulson, Cyma Van Petten, Kara D. Federmeier, Marta Kutas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Researchers using lateralized stimuli have suggested that the left hemisphere is sensitive to sentence-level context, whereas the right hemisphere (RH) primarily processes word-level meaning. The authors investigated this message-blind RH model by measuring associative priming with event-related brain potentials (ERPs). For word pairs in isolation, associated words elicited more positive ERPs than unassociated words with similar magnitudes and onset latencies in both visual fields. Embedded in sentences, these same pairs showed large sentential context effects in both fields. Small effects of association were observed, confined to incongruous sentences after right visual hemifield presentation but present for both congruous and incongruous sentences after left visual hemifield presentation. Results do not support the message-blind RH model but do suggest hemispheric asymmetries in the use of word and sentence context during real-time processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-147
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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