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Neuroreport. 2007 Oct 29;18(16):1747-51.

Automatic detection of lexical change: an auditory event-related potential study.

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Institute for Psychology I, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.


We investigated the detection of rare task-irrelevant changes in the lexical status of speech stimuli. Participants performed a nonlinguistic task on word and pseudoword stimuli that occurred, in separate conditions, rarely or frequently. Task performance for pseudowords was deteriorated relative to words, suggesting unintentional lexical analysis. Furthermore, rare word and pseudoword changes had a similar effect on the event-related potentials, starting as early as 165 ms. This is the first demonstration of the automatic detection of change in lexical status that is not based on a co-occurring acoustic change. We propose that, following lexical analysis of the incoming stimuli, a mental representation of the lexical regularity is formed and used as a template against which lexical change can be detected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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