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Neurosci Lett. 2003 Mar 27;339(3):191-4.

Talker's voice and gender stereotype in human auditory sentence processing--evidence from event-related brain potentials.

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Max-Planck-Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Stephanstrasse 1a, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.


The present study investigated the influence of implicit speaker information on the sentence interpretation. We auditorily presented sentences that comprised of either stereotypically male or stereotypically female self-referent utterances. In the congruent conditions, these utterances were produced by speakers whose gender matched the semantic content. In the incongruent condition, stereotypically male utterances were produced by female speakers and vice versa. The event-related brain potentials (ERP) of 32 listeners exhibited a late positivity (P600) for the incongruent condition. No significant differences were observed between male and female listeners. In the absence of any ERP effect in the earlier time range, it was concluded that the access of the semantic information as such is independent of the speaker's voice, but that speaker property, semantic content and stereotypical knowledge are integrated in a later processing stage.

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