Semantic anomaly detection in school-aged children during natural sentence reading : A study of fixation-related brain potentials
Loberg, O., Hautala, J., Hämäläinen, J., & Leppänen, P. H. (2018). Semantic anomaly detection in school-aged children during natural sentence reading : A study of fixation-related brain potentials. PLoS ONE, 13(12), Article e0209741. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0209741
Published inPLoS ONE
© 2018 Loberg et al.
In this study, we investigated the effects of context-related semantic anomalies on the fixation-related brain potentials of 12–13-year-old Finnish children in grade 6 during sentence reading. The detection of such anomalies is typically reflected in the N400 event-related potential. We also examined whether the representation invoked by the sentence context extends to the orthographic representation level by replacing the final words of the sentence with an anomalous word neighbour of a plausible word. The eye-movement results show that the anomalous word neighbours of plausible words cause similar first-fixation and gaze duration reactions, as do other anomalous words. Similarly, we observed frontal negativity in the fixation-related potential of the unrelated anomalous words and in the anomalous word neighbours. This frontal negativity was larger in both anomalous conditions than in the response elicited by the plausible condition. We thus show that the brain successfully uses context to separate anomalous words from plausible words on a single letter level during free reading. From the P600 response of the scalp waveform, we observed that the P600 was delayed in the anomalous word neighbour condition. We performed group-level decomposition on the data with ICA (independent component analysis) and analysed the time course and source structure of the decomposed data. This analysis of decomposed brain signals not only confirmed the delay of the P600 response but also revealed that the frontal negativity concealed s more typical and separate N400 response, which was similarly delayed in the anomalous word neighbour condition, as was the P600 response. Source analysis of these independent components implicated the right frontal eye field as the cortical source for the frontal negativity and the middle temporal and parietal regions as cortical sources for the components resembling the N400 and P600 responses. We interpret the delays present in N400 and P600 responses to anomalous word neighbours to reflect competition with the representation of the plausible word just one letter different. ...
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