Early occipital sensitivity to syntactic category is based on form typicality

Dikker, Suzanne, Rabagliati, Hugh, Farmer, Thomas and Pylkkanen, Liina (2010) Early occipital sensitivity to syntactic category is based on form typicality. Psychological Science, 21 (5). pp. 629-634. ISSN 0956-7976

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797610367751


Syntactic factors can rapidly affect behavioral and neural responses during language processing; however, the mechanisms that allow this rapid extraction of syntactically relevant information remain poorly understood. We addressed this issue using magnetoencephalography and found that an unexpected word category (e.g., “The recently princess . . . ”) elicits enhanced activity in visual cortex as early as 120 ms after exposure, and that this activity occurs as a function of the compatibility of a word’s form with the form properties associated with a predicted word category. Because no sensitivity to linguistic factors has been previously reported for words in isolation at this stage of visual analysis, we propose that predictions about upcoming syntactic categories are translated into form-based estimates, which are made available to sensory cortices. This finding may be a key component to elucidating the mechanisms that allow the extreme rapidity and efficiency of language comprehension.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: language, syntax, vision, prediction, magnetoencephalography
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2011 09:53
Last Modified: 16 May 2017 04:53
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/442

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