What do fully visible primes and brain potentials reveal about morphological decomposition?

Aureliu Lavric*, Kathleen Rastle, Amanda Clapp

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    30 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    To examine the role of meaning in morphological decomposition ({re-}+{play}), researchers have employed the priming paradigm. Perceptually masked primes lead to facilitation both when decomposition is semantically appropriate (hunter-HUNT) and when it is not (corner-CORN), whereas with fully visible primes facilitation is observed only in the former case. We investigated the N400 brain potential time-locked to words preceded by fully visible primes. At ~300-380 ms, N400 was equally attenuated in the semantically "transparent" condition (hunter-HUNT) and semantically "opaque" condition (corner-CORN). In the transparent condition, N400 remained attenuated after 380 ms, whereas in the opaque condition it returned to the level of a nonmorphological form condition (brothel-BROTH). This pattern of N400 priming is consistent with an orthography-based, morphological decomposition mechanism, "licensed" at a later stage by semantic information.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)676-686
    Number of pages11
    JournalPsychophysiology
    Volume48
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2011

    Keywords

    • Decomposition
    • ERP
    • Morphology
    • N400
    • Priming

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