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Neurosci Lett. 2013 Aug 26;548:301-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2013.05.074. Epub 2013 Jun 13.

The N2- and N400-like effects of radicals on complex Chinese characters.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality (SWU), MoE, China.


Participants were asked to complete a delayed character-matching task, while their event-related brain potentials (ERPs) elicited by Chinese character fragments were recorded. This task required participants to match probe characters with their preceding fragments, which were randomly assigned to be either radical or stroke-deleted. However, the same number of strokes was retained in either case. The stroke-deleted fragments, which contained fewer intact radicals, elicited larger N2- and N400-like components compared with the radical-deleted fragments. Stroke-deleted fragments displayed lower response accuracy than the radical-deleted fragments. These results indicate that simple radicals have an intermediate or sub-character function in Chinese character recognition. The processing of characters with more destroyed radicals is impeded within a multilayer interactive-activation model.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Chinese character fragments; ERPs; N400; Simple radicals; Sub-lexical processing

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