Brain Potentials as Indices of Orthographic and Phonological Interaction During word Matching

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event related brain potentials, indicators of orthographic & phonological interaction during matching of words that looked alike vs rhymed, college students

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Studied the interaction between orthographic and phonological codes in a same–different judgment task by requiring 40 undergraduates to decide if 2 visually presented words either looked alike or rhymed. Word pairs were selected from 4 lists: words rhymed and looked alike, rhymed but did not look alike, looked alike but did not rhyme, or neither looked alike nor rhymed. The reaction time (RT) and percent error increased when there was a conflict between the orthography and phonology of the words. The N200 component of the event-related brain potential (ERP) indicated that Ss were capable of detecting phonological differences between words within 260 msec from the presentation of a word pair. The amplitude of the N200s also varied with the degree of mismatch between words. N200s were largest when both the orthography and phonology mismatched, of intermediate amplitude when either orthography or phonology mismatched, and smallest when both orthograpy and phonology matched. P300 latency was consistent with RT, increasing whenever there was a conflict between the 2 codes. Behavioral measures and the ERP data suggest that the extraction of the orthographic and phonological aspects of words occurs early in the information-processing sequence.

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Journal of Experimental Psychology, v. 13, issue 1, p. 76-86