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Which Way to Integration? Examining Directional Association in Word-to-Text Integration Using ERPs

Stafura, Joseph (2013) Which Way to Integration? Examining Directional Association in Word-to-Text Integration Using ERPs. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Skilled reading proceeds in a largely incremental manner, with readers attempting to integrate linguistic information from each word as it is encountered. The degree to which prospective and retrospective integration processes are functional in driving incrementally remains an open area of inquiry. In this study, event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to explore on-line lexico-semantic integration in conditions in which prospective and retrospective processing was more or less likely to occur, through the manipulation of the direction of lexical association between word in isolation and embedded in two-sentence texts. The N400 ERP component, an index of lexico-semantic processing, was examined across forward and backward association conditions. In both a word relatedness judgment (RJ) task and text comprehension (TC) task, reduced N400 amplitudes were seen over central scalp electrodes in conditions in which word pairs were either forward associated or backward associated, relative to conditions in which word pairs were unrelated (RJ) or lacking one word of the pair (TC). Additionally, a reduced negativity was found for forward associated pairs over right parietal electrodes in RJ, and an increased positivity was found for the backward associated condition over left parietal electrodes in TC. The evidence from central electrodes suggests that retrospective integration processes, and not simply prospective expectancy processes, modulate the N400 in incremental text processing. Additionally, the results suggest an enhanced role for expectancy in modulating ERPs at right parietal sites, and, potentially, an engagement of memory resonance processes in text processing over left parietal sites.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Stafura, Josephjzs48@pitt.eduJZS48
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPerfetti, Charles perfetti@pitt.eduPERFETTI
Committee MemberTokowicz, Natashatokowicz@pitt.eduTOKOWICZ
Committee MemberWarren, Tessawarren@pitt.eduWARREN
Date: 30 June 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 March 2013
Approval Date: 30 June 2013
Submission Date: 3 April 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 62
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: text integration, lexical association, relatedness judgments, N400, ERPs
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2013 17:26
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:11


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