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Sci Rep. 2016 Mar 23;6:23275. doi: 10.1038/srep23275.

Electrophysiological evidence of inhibited orthographic regularity effect on the recognition of real Chinese characters.

He W1, Fan C2,3, Ren J3, Liu T3, Zhang M3, Luo W1,3.

Author information

Research Center of Brain and Cognitive Neuroscience, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China.
Laboratory of Cognition and Mental Health, Chongqing University of Arts and Sciences, Chongqing 402160, China.
Department of Education, Minnan Normal University, Zhangzhou 363000, China.


Orthographic regularity is important for processing Chinese characters. However, the issues how orthographic regularity influences the visual recognition of real Chinese characters and whether common processes related to the potential effect exist between successive (SUCC) and concurrent (CONC) conditions with asynchronous presentation of S1 and S2 are still unclear. In the current study, event-related potential (ERP) technique was adopted to investigate electrophysiological correlates of the orthographic regularity effect. Behaviorally, we found fewer errors and shorter response times for SUCC and CONC conditions compared to simultaneous (SIM) condition with synchronous presentation and disappearance of S1 and S2, which demonstrates similarities between SUCC and CONC and their differences from SIM. We found bilaterally smaller N170 responses for real Chinese characters preceded by false characters compared to real characters, demonstrating that orthographic regularity may inhibit the recognition of real Chinese characters. Additionally, the inhibition effect was present in SUCC and CONC rather than SIM, which shows that smaller N170 responses may have been due to asynchronous presentations of S1 and S2 and common inhibition processes in the SUCC and CONC conditions.

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