The N400 as a snapshot of interactive processing: Evidence from regression analyses of orthographic neighbor and lexical associate effects

Sarah Laszlo, Kara D. Federmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Linking print with meaning tends to be divided into subprocesses, such as recognition of an input's lexical entry and subsequent access of semantics. However, recent results suggest that the set of semantic features activated by an input is broader than implied by a view wherein access serially follows recognition. EEG was collected from participants who viewed items varying in number and frequency of both orthographic neighbors and lexical associates. Regression analysis of single item ERPs replicated past findings, showing that N400 amplitudes are greater for items with more neighbors, and further revealed that N400 amplitudes increase for items with more lexical associates and with higher frequency neighbors or associates. Together, the data suggest that in the N400 time window semantic features of items broadly related to inputs are active, consistent with models in which semantic access takes place in parallel with stimulus recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-186
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011



  • Multiple regression
  • N400
  • Orthographic neighborhood
  • Semantic access

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry

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