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Brain Lang. 2014 Oct;137:29-39. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2014.07.010. Epub 2014 Aug 24.

The P600-as-P3 hypothesis revisited: single-trial analyses reveal that the late EEG positivity following linguistically deviant material is reaction time aligned.

Author information

1
Department of Germanic Linguistics, University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany; Department of English and Linguistics, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany.
2
Department of English and Linguistics, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany.
3
Department of Germanic Linguistics, University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany; School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia. Electronic address: Ina.Bornkessel-Schlesewsky@unisa.edu.au.

Abstract

The P600, a late positive ERP component following linguistically deviant stimuli, is commonly seen as indexing structural, high-level processes, e.g. of linguistic (re)analysis. It has also been identified with the P3 (P600-as-P3 hypothesis), which is thought to reflect a systemic neuromodulator release facilitating behavioural shifts and is usually response time aligned. We investigated single-trial alignment of the P600 to response, a critical prediction of the P600-as-P3 hypothesis. Participants heard sentences containing morphosyntactic and semantic violations and responded via a button press. The elicited P600 was perfectly response aligned, while an N400 following semantic deviations was stimulus aligned. This is, to our knowledge, the first single-trial analysis of language processing data using within-sentence behavioural responses as temporal covariates. Results support the P600-as-P3 perspective and thus constitute a step towards a neurophysiological grounding of language-related ERPs.

KEYWORDS:

Attention; Locus Coeruleus; N400; P3; P600; Reorienting; Semantics; Sentence processing; Single-trial analysis; Syntax

PMID:
25151545
DOI:
10.1016/j.bandl.2014.07.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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