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Individual Differences in Representations of Newly Learned Words: An Event -Related Investigation

Balass, Michal (2005) Individual Differences in Representations of Newly Learned Words: An Event -Related Investigation. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Adults of varying comprehension skill were trained on a set of previously unknown rare English words (e.g. gloaming) in three different learning conditions which manipulated the type of word knowledge that participants learned about the words. Trained words were presented in one of three conditions: (1) Orthography- to- Meaning (no phonology); (2) Orthography- to- Phonology (no meaning); and (3) Phonology- to- Meaning (no orthography). Following training, participants made meaning judgments about the trained words in addition to familiar known words and untrained rare words while their ERPs were recorded. Behavioral results showed no significant differences of comprehension on meaning relatedness task performance. ERP recordings segmented after the presentation of the first word indicated skill differences in amplitude and latency for N400 and P600 components. Less skilled comprehenders showed larger N400 effects for phonology to meaning trained words than high skilled comprehenders indicating that they were not successful at making an orthographic representation from phonological information that was given in training. P600 results indicated that low skilled comprehenders showed no specific episodic effects for trained words versus untrained words, while high skilled comprehenders showed a modified P600 'old/new' effect for rare words versus known words. These results demonstrated that ERPs provide distinctive information about how newly- learned words are represented, and how these new representations differ with individual differences in comprehension skill.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Balass, Michalmibst21@pitt.eduMIBST21
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPerfetti, Charles A
Committee MemberReichle, Erik D
Committee MemberFiez, Julie A
Date: 2 February 2005
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 10 November 2004
Approval Date: 2 February 2005
Submission Date: 9 December 2004
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: ERP; individual differences; reading skill; word learning
Other ID:, etd-12092004-152523
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:09
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:54


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