Presentation (Project) Title

Examining the Relationship Between Visual Field and Integration Processes Using Event-Related Potentials

Mentor Information

Elizabeth Schotter (Department of Psychology)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

Readers use perceptual input in order to recognize a word and integrate it into the sentence context. But the quality of the perceptual input is not equal across the visual field; readers can perceive words more easily in central vision than in non-central vision due to acuity and attentional limits. Past research measuring event related brain potentials presented contextually anomalous words in either central or non-central vision and showed that word recognition, indexed by the N400 component, can occur in both central and non-central vision (Stites et al., 2017; Payne et al., 2019), but semantic integration, indexed by the Late Positive Component (LPC), can occur only in central vision (Milligan et al., 2020). Because past studies used anomalous words that were visually similar to highly expected words the dependence of the LPC on presentation in central vision could have happened for two reasons: (1) non-central words were less perceptually clear and therefore harder to distinguish between two similar word forms, or (2) less attention is allocated to the non-central words and therefore they were harder to process, regardless of their visual similarity. To investigate these possibilities, we will replicate the prior study that manipulated readers’ predictions about a word via the sentence context and presented the target word in either central or non-central vision. However, in our study, unexpected anomalous words will not be visually similar to the expected word. This will allow us to determine whether semantic integration in non-central vision is limited by perceptual acuity or attention.

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Examining the Relationship Between Visual Field and Integration Processes Using Event-Related Potentials

Readers use perceptual input in order to recognize a word and integrate it into the sentence context. But the quality of the perceptual input is not equal across the visual field; readers can perceive words more easily in central vision than in non-central vision due to acuity and attentional limits. Past research measuring event related brain potentials presented contextually anomalous words in either central or non-central vision and showed that word recognition, indexed by the N400 component, can occur in both central and non-central vision (Stites et al., 2017; Payne et al., 2019), but semantic integration, indexed by the Late Positive Component (LPC), can occur only in central vision (Milligan et al., 2020). Because past studies used anomalous words that were visually similar to highly expected words the dependence of the LPC on presentation in central vision could have happened for two reasons: (1) non-central words were less perceptually clear and therefore harder to distinguish between two similar word forms, or (2) less attention is allocated to the non-central words and therefore they were harder to process, regardless of their visual similarity. To investigate these possibilities, we will replicate the prior study that manipulated readers’ predictions about a word via the sentence context and presented the target word in either central or non-central vision. However, in our study, unexpected anomalous words will not be visually similar to the expected word. This will allow us to determine whether semantic integration in non-central vision is limited by perceptual acuity or attention.