The research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Child Heath and Human Development (P50) HD3313O1A to Ursula Bellugi and the National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders, DCO1289, to Elizabeth Bates. We thank Kara Federmeier for her extremely helpful advice and remarks, Chantel Prat for her assistance in data collection, and Liz Lewis Sheehan for her help in data analysis. We especially thank the participants in the study.
Effects of acoustic distortion and semantic context on event-related potentials to spoken words
Article first published online: 25 AUG 2006
Volume 43, Issue 5, pages 454–464, September 2006
How to Cite
Aydelott, J., Dick, F. and Mills, D. L. (2006), Effects of acoustic distortion and semantic context on event-related potentials to spoken words. Psychophysiology, 43: 454–464. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2006.00448.x
- Issue published online: 25 AUG 2006
- Article first published online: 25 AUG 2006
- (Received January 13, 2006; Accepted June 15, 2006)
- Event-related potentials (ERPs);
- Lexical access;
- Semantic priming;
- Speech perception;
This study examined the neurophysiological effects of acoustic degradation on auditory semantic processing. Event-related potentials were recorded to target words presented in a sentence context. Targets were semantically congruent or incongruent with the context, which was acoustically intact or low-pass filtered. In unaltered contexts, N400 amplitude was significantly greater for incongruent than congruent words. Filtering significantly reduced this effect, even though participants were highly accurate in interpreting the degraded stimuli, as shown by an anomaly detection task. This reduction in the N400 effect appeared to be driven by decreased N400 amplitudes over posterior electrode sites for incongruent targets. These results demonstrate that acoustic degradation influences the neural response to words in context by reducing the availability of semantic information in on-line sentence comprehension.