Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Lang. 1987 Nov;32(2):336-61.

Event-related potentials and the interaction between orthographic and phonological information in a rhyme-judgment task.

Author information

Psychological Laboratory, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, UK.


Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from one midline and three pairs of lateral electrodes in three experiments involving a rhyme-judgment task. Experiment 1 employed sequentially presented word pairs consisting of orthographically similar and dissimilar rhyming and nonrhyming items (RUNG-SUNG, MAKE-ACHE, BEAD-DEAD, GIFT-ROAD). Comparison of the ERPs elicited by the dissimilar pairs revealed a rhyme/nonrhyme difference in the form of an increase in the amplitude of a late negative component (N450) for nonrhyming pairs; this effect was confined almost entirely to right-hemisphere electrodes. By contrast, rhyme/nonrhyme differences in the ERPs to orthographically similar word pairs were smaller in magnitude, later in onset, and bilaterally distributed. Experiment 2 showed that this pattern of ERP effects with orthographically similar items depended upon orthographic and not visual similarity. Experiment 3 tested the hypothesis that the lack of a right-hemisphere based N450 effect with orthographically similar items resulted from the operation of an orthographic priming mechanism. ERPs to nonrhyming pairs containing a word with an inconsistent segment (COAST-FROST) were compared with visually matched controls (SPARSE-CREASE). The rhyme/nonrhyme differences in the N450 components from these two conditions were indistinguishable, although subjects found it as difficult to make nonrhyme responses to "COAST-FROST" pairs as to the orthographically similar nonrhyming items in Experiment 1. It was concluded that while "orthographic priming" accounted for the behavioral data from these experiments, it could not explain the interaction between phonology and orthography observed in the concurrently recorded ERP data.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center