Parafoveal perception during sentence reading? An ERP paradigm using rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) with flankers

Authors

  • Horacio A. Barber,

    1. Cognitive Psychology Department, University of La Laguna, La Laguna, Spain
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    • *These authors equally contributed to this work.

  • Shir Ben-Zvi,

    1. Psychology Department, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
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    • *These authors equally contributed to this work.

  • Shlomo Bentin,

    1. Psychology Department, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
    2. Interdisciplinary Center of Neural Computation, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
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  • Marta Kutas

    1. Department of Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, USA
    2. Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, USA
    3. Center for Research in Language, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, USA
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  • Horacio A. Barber was funded by the “Ramón y Cajal” program and Grant SEJ2007-67364 of the Spanish Ministry of Science. Marta Kutas was supported by Grant HD22614 from the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and Grant AG08313 from the National Institute of Aging.

Address correspondence to: Horacio A. Barber, Departamento de Psicología Cognitiva, Campus de Guajara, Universidad de La Laguna, 38205-Tenerife, Spain. E-mail: hbarber@ull.es

Abstract

We describe a new procedure using event-related brain potentials to investigate parafoveal word processing during sentence reading. Sentences were presented word by word at fixation, flanked 2° bilaterally by letter strings. Flanker strings were pseudowords, except for the third word in each sentence, which was flanked by either two pseudowords or a pseudoword and a word, one on each side. Flanker words were either semantically congruent or incongruent with the sentence context. P2 (175–375 ms) amplitudes were less positive for contextually incongruent than congruent flanker words but only with flanker words in the right visual field for English and in the left visual field in Hebrew. Flankered word presentation thus may be a suitable method for the electrophysiological study of parafoveal perception during sentence reading.

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