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Brain Sci. 2012, 2(3), 267-297; doi:10.3390/brainsci2030267

The N400 and Late Positive Complex (LPC) Effects Reflect Controlled Rather than Automatic Mechanisms of Sentence Processing

1
CNRS UMR7237, Louis Pasteur University, 12 rue Goethe, Strasbourg F-67000, France
2
Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, Eberhard Karls University, Gartenstr. 29, Tübingen D-72074, Germany
3
CNRS UMR5292, INSERM U1028, Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University, 50 Avenue Tony Garnier, Lyon cedex 01 F-69366, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 June 2012 / Revised: 16 July 2012 / Accepted: 1 August 2012 / Published: 14 August 2012
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Abstract

This study compared automatic and controlled cognitive processes that underlie event-related potentials (ERPs) effects during speech perception. Sentences were presented to French native speakers, and the final word could be congruent or incongruent, and presented at one of four levels of degradation (using a modulation with pink noise): no degradation, mild degradation (2 levels), or strong degradation. We assumed that degradation impairs controlled more than automatic processes. The N400 and Late Positive Complex (LPC) effects were defined as the differences between the corresponding wave amplitudes to incongruent words minus congruent words. Under mild degradation, where controlled sentence-level processing could still occur (as indicated by behavioral data), both N400 and LPC effects were delayed and the latter effect was reduced. Under strong degradation, where sentence processing was rather automatic (as indicated by behavioral data), no ERP effect remained. These results suggest that ERP effects elicited in complex contexts, such as sentences, reflect controlled rather than automatic mechanisms of speech processing. These results differ from the results of experiments that used word-pair or word-list paradigms. View Full-Text
Keywords: ERP; masking; mask; semantic; priming; control; context; auditory; language; speech ERP; masking; mask; semantic; priming; control; context; auditory; language; speech
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Daltrozzo, J.; Wioland, N.; Kotchoubey, B. The N400 and Late Positive Complex (LPC) Effects Reflect Controlled Rather than Automatic Mechanisms of Sentence Processing. Brain Sci. 2012, 2, 267-297.

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