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Neuroreport. 2006 May 15;17(7):727-31.

Is bilingual lexical access influenced by language context?

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  • 1Max-Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany.


Using primed lexical decision, we measured reaction times and event-related brain potentials to targets that had German meanings (boss) of German-English interlingual homograph primes (chef). In an all-English experiment, we tested the effects of (1) global language context created by a first- or second-language film before the experiment, and (2) context over time, by analyzing the first and second experimental halves. We report significant reaction time and event-related potential priming of first-language meanings in the second-language experiment. The effects obtained despite block and context manipulations support and extend the nonselective access theory of bilingual word recognition.

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