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Keywords:

  • Cognition;
  • Language/speech;
  • EEG/ERP

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.