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An ERP study of hemispheric differences in perceptual representations of language reveals meaning attribution in the right hemisphere and constituents of the N400-effect

Male, A.G., Smith, C.A. and Gouldthorp, B. (2021) An ERP study of hemispheric differences in perceptual representations of language reveals meaning attribution in the right hemisphere and constituents of the N400-effect. Brain and Language, 219 . Art. 104963.

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Abstract

Recent findings have revealed that the right hemisphere (RH) is uniquely involved in integrating perceptual information from linguistic input to simulate a mental model of that input. We extend on these findings by testing whether meaning is generated from such models. Participants (N = 37) heard auditory passages describing the visuospatial arrangement of elements into a perceptual representation of a familiar object, then judged whether a laterally-presented target word matched the object. We found a central N400-effect for left visual-field targets, suggesting that meaning was also accessible to the RH. There was no statistical difference for right visual-field targets. Principle component analysis of the data revealed that the N400-effect was driven by positive components. Consequently, the results suggest that i) RH contributions to language comprehension include integrative and perceptual processes that enable overall meaning to be generated from representations of discourse, and ii) positive ERP components may produce N400-effects.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s).
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/61259
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