To watch, to see, and to differ: An event-related potential study of concreteness effects as a function of word class and lexical ambiguity

Chia lin Lee, Kara D Federmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Electrophysiological techniques were used to assess the generalizability of concreteness effects on word processing across word class (nouns and verbs) and different types of lexical ambiguity (syntactic only and combined syntactic/semantic). The results replicated prior work in showing an enhanced N400 response and a sustained frontal negativity to concrete as compared with abstract nouns. The effect of concreteness on the N400 generalized to all word class and ambiguity conditions, whereas the frontal effect was present for all word types except for the syntactically and semantically ambiguous items when these were used as verbs. The seemingly dissociable ERP effects of concreteness at frontal and central/posterior electrode sites revealed by these data suggest that concreteness may impact multiple aspects of neurocognitive processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-158
Number of pages14
JournalBrain and Language
Volume104
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008

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Word Processing
Evoked Potentials
Semantics
Electrodes
event
semantics
Lexical Ambiguity
Concreteness
Event-related Potentials
Word Class
Syntax
Verbs

Keywords

  • Concreteness effects
  • ERPs
  • Language
  • Noun-verb homonymy
  • Word class
  • Word class ambiguity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

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