Using event-related potentials to measure phrase boundary perception in English

Varghese Peter*, Genevieve McArthur, Stephen Crain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The closure positive shift (CPS) event related potential (ERP) is commonly used as a neural measure of phrase boundary perception in speech. The present study investigated whether the CPS was elicited by acoustic cues at phrase boundaries in English. ERPs were recorded when participants listened passively to sentences with either early or late phrase boundaries. Results: The closure positive shift (CPS) ERP was elicited at both early and late phrase boundaries. However, the latency, amplitude, and scalp distribution of these passive CPS ERPs in English sentences differed to active CPS ERPs measured in non-English sentences in previous studies. Conclusions: These results show that acoustic cues at the phrase boundaries in English are sufficient to elicit the CPS, and suggest that different processes might be involved in the generation of the CPS in active and passive conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2014

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