The interplay of heuristics and parsing routines in sentence comprehension: Evidence from ERPs and reaction times
SourceBiological Psychology, 75, 1, (2007), pp. 8-18
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC PL
SW OZ DCC CO
SW OZ NICI CO
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 1: Language and Communication; Psycholinguistics
Semantic anomalies like "the fox that hunted the poacher" elicit P600 effects. Kolk, Chwilla, Van Herten and Oor (2003) proposed that this P600 effect is triggered by a conflict between the outcome of a lexical strategy with that of the parsing routine. Specifically, when the lexical strategy indicates that the poacher hunted the fox, the full parse leads to the conclusion that the fox was the one who did the hunting. We tested this hypothesis by replicating the study cited above but manipulating the context by means of instruction. Participants were informed that semantic anomalies were created on purpose and that they should not be misled by these anomalies but instead focus on syntax or sentence structure. This instruction led to a strong reduction in P600 effect. This result supports the view that expectations play an important role in the generation of P600 effects to semantic anomalies, as proposed by Kolk and colleagues (2003).
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