Advertisement

Memory & Cognition

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 539–550 | Cite as

Event-related brain potentials to grammatical errors and semantic anomalies

  • Marta Kutas
  • Steven A. Hillyard
Article

Abstract

Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded while subjects silently read several prose passages, presented one word at a time. Semantic anomalies and various grammatical errors had been inserted unpredictably at different serial positions within some of the sentences. The semantically inappropriate words elicited a large N400 component in the ERP, whereas the grammatical errors were associated with smaller and less consistent components that had scalp distributions different from that of the N400. This result adds to the evidence that the N400 wave is more closely related to semantic than to grammatical processing. Additional analyses revealed that different ERP configurations were elicited by open-class (“content”) and closed-class (“function”) words in these prose passages.

Keywords

Content Word Grammatical Error Prose Passage Late Positivity Late Negativity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Reference Note

  1. 1.
    Danks, J. H., Fears, R., Bohn, L., & Hill, G. O.Comprehension processes in oral reading. Paper presented at the meeting of the Psychonomic Society, San Antonio, Texas, 1978.Google Scholar

References

  1. Aborn, M. Rubenstein, H., &Sterling, T. C. Sources of contextual constraint upon words in sentences.Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1959,57, 171–180.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Becker, C. A. Semantic context effects in word recognition: An analysis of semantic strategies.Memory & Cognition, 1980,8, 493–512.Google Scholar
  3. Becker, C. A., &Killion, T. M. Interaction of visual and cognitive effects in word recognition.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 1977,3, 389–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boddy, J., &Weinberg, H. Brain potentials, perceptual mechanism and semantic categorization.Biological Psychology, 1981,12, 43–61.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bouma, H., &de Voogd, A. H. On the control of eye saccades in reading.Vision Research, 1974,14, 273–284.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bradley, D. C.Computational distinctions of vocabulary type. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1978.Google Scholar
  7. Bradley, D. C., Garrett, M. E., &Zurif, E. B. Syntactic deficits in Broca’s aphasia. In D. Caplan (Ed.),Biological studies of mental processes. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  8. Carpenter, P. A., &Daneman, M. Lexical retrieval and error recovery in reading: A model based on eye fixations.Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1981,10, 137–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Carpenter, P. A., &Just, M. A. Cognitive processes in reading: Models based on reader’s eye fixations. In A. M. Lesgold & C. A. Perfetti (Eds.),Interactive processes in reading. Hillsdale, N.J: Erlbaum, 1981.Google Scholar
  10. Cole, R. A., &Jakimik, J. Understanding speech: How words are heard. In G. Underwood (Ed.),Strategies of information processing. London: Academic Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  11. Cole, R. A., &Jakimik, J. A model of speech perception. In R. Cole (Ed.),Perception and production of fluent speech. Hillsdale, N.J: Erlbaum, 1980.Google Scholar
  12. Courchesne, E., Courchesne, R. Y., &Hillyard, S. A. The effect of stimulus deviation on P3 waves to easily recognizable stimuli.Neuropsychologia, 1978,16, 189–199.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Courchesne, E., Hillyard, S. A., &Galambos, R. Stimulus novelty, task relevance, and the visual evoked potential in man.Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 1975,39, 131–143.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Danks, J. H. Grammaticalness and meaningfulness in the comprehension of sentences.Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1969,11, 687–696.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Danks, J. H., &Hill, G. O. An interactive analysis of oral reading. In A. M. Lesgold & C. A. Perfetti (Eds.),Interactive processes in reading. Hillsdale, N.J: Erlbaum, 1981.Google Scholar
  16. Donchin, E., Ritter, W., &McCallum, W. C. Cognitive psychophysiology: The endogenous components of the ERP. In E. Callaway, P. Tueting, & S. Koslow (Eds.),Event-related brain potentials in man. New York: Academic Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  17. Drewnowski, A., &Healy, A. F. Detection errors onthe andand: Evidence for reading units larger than the word.Memory & Cognition, 1977,5, 636–647.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ehrlich, S. F., &Rayner, K. Contextual effects on word perception and eye movements during reading.Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior, 1981,10, 641–655.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fischler, I., &Bloom, P. A. Automatic and attentional processes in the effects of sentence contexts on word recognition.Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior, 1979,18, 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fischler, I., Bloom, P. A., Childers, D. A., Roucos, S. E., &Perry, N. W., Jr. Potentials related to sentence verification.Psychophysiology, 1983,20, 400–409.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Ford, J. M., &Hillyard, S. A. ERPS to interruptions of a steady rhythm.Psychophysiology, 1981,18, 322–330.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Forster, K. I. Accessing the mental lexicon. In E. C. T. Walker & R. J. Wales (Eds.),New approaches to language mechanism. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1976.Google Scholar
  23. Friederici, A. D., &Schoenle, P. W. Computational dissociation of two vocabulary types: Evidence from aphasia.Neuropsychologia, 1980,18, 11–20.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Friedman, D., Simson, R., Ritter, W., &Rapin, I. The late positive component (P300) and information processing in sentences.Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 1975,38, 255–262.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Gordon, B., &Caramazza, A. Lexical decision for open and closed-class words: Failure to replicate differential frequency sensitivity.Brain and Language, 1982,15, 143–160.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Haber, R. N., &Schindler, R. Errors in proofreading: Evidence of syntactic control of letter processing?Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 1981,7, 573–579.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jacobson, J. Z. Effects of association upon masking and reading latency.Canadian Journal of Psychology, 1973,27, 58–69.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Jasper, H. H. Report of the committee on methods of clinical examination in electromyography.Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 1958,10, 370–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Just, M. A., &Carpenter, P. A. A theory of reading: From eye fixations to comprehension.Psychological Review, 1980,87, 329–354.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Kean, M.-L. The linguistic interpretation of aphasic syndromes: Agrammatism in Broca’s aphasia, an example.Cognition, 1977,5, 19–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kleiman, G. M. Sentence frame context and lexical decisions: Sentence-acceptability and word-relatedness effects.Memory & Cognition, 1980,8, 336–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kutas, M., &Hillyard, S. A. Event-related brain potentials to semantically inappropriate and surprisingly large words.Biological Psychology, 1980,11, 99–116. (a)CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Kutas, M., &Hillyard, S. A. Reading between the lines: Event-related brain potentials during natural sentence processing.Brain and Language, 1980,11, 354–373. (b)CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Kutas, M., &Hillyard, S. A. Reading senseless sentences: Brain potentials reflect semantic incongruity.Science, 1980,207, 203–205. (c)CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Kutas, M., &Hillyard, S. A. The lateral distribution of event-related potentials during sentence processing.Neuropsychologia, 1982,20, 579–590.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Kutas, M., & Hillyard, S. A. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) elicited by “novel” stimuli during sentence processing. In R. Karrer, J. Cohen, & P. Tueting (Eds.),Brain information: Event-related potentials. New York Academy of Sciences, New York. Monograph 12, in press.Google Scholar
  37. Kutas, M., Lindamood, T. E., & Hillyard, S. A. Word expectancy and event-related brain potentials during sentence processing. In S. Kornblum & J. Requin (Es.),Preparatory states and processes. Hillsdale, N.J: Erlbaum, in press.Google Scholar
  38. Kutas, M., McCarthy, G., &Donchin, E. Augmenting mental chronometry.Science, 1977,197, 792–795.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Marks, L. E., &Miller, G. A. The role of semantic and syntactic constraints in the memorization of English sentences.Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior, 1964,3, 1–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Marslen-Wilson, W. D. Sentence perception as an interactive parallel process.Science, 1975,189, 226–228.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Marslen-Wilson, W. D., &Tyler, L. K. Processing structure of sentence perception.Nature, 1975,257, 784–786.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Marslen-Wilson, W. D., &Tyler, L. K. The temporal structure of spoken language understanding.Cognition, 1980,8, 1–71.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Marslen-Wilson, W. D., Tyler, L. K., &Seidenberg, M. Sentence processing and the clause-boundary. In W. J. M. Levelt & G. B. Flores D’Arcais (Eds.),Studies in sentence perception. New York: Wiley, 1978.Google Scholar
  44. Marslen-Wilson, W. D., &Welsh, A. Processing interactions and lexical access during word recognition incontinuous speech.Cognitive Psychology, 1978,10, 29–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. McConkie, G. W., Zola, D., Blanchard, H. E., &Wolverton, G. S. Perceiving words during reading: Lack of facilitation from prior peripheral exposure.Perception & Psychophysics, 1982,32, 271–281.Google Scholar
  46. Meyer, D. E., Schvaneveldt, R. W., &Ruddy, M. G. Loci of contextual effects on word recognition. In P. M. A. Rabbitt & S. Dornic (Eds.),Attention and performance V. New York: Academic Press, 1975.Google Scholar
  47. Moore, T. E., &Biederman, I. Speeded recognition of ungrammaticality: Double violations.Cognition, 1979,7, 285–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Morton, J. The effects of context on the visual duration threshold for words.British Journal of Psychology, 1964,55, 165–180.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Morton, J. The logogen model and orthographic structure. In U. Frith (Ed.),Cognitive processes in spelling. London: Academic Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  50. Naatanen, R., Gaillard, A. W. K., &Mantysalo, S. Brain potential correlates of voluntary and involuntary attention. In H. H. Kornhuber & L. Deecke (Eds.),Motivation, motor and sensory processes of the brain, progress in brain research (Vol. 54). Elsevier/North-Holland, 1980.Google Scholar
  51. Naätanen, R., Simpson, M., &Loveless, N. E. Stimulus deviance and evoked potential.Biological Psychology, 1982,14, 53–98.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Neville, H. J., Kutas, M., &Schmidt, A. Event-related potential studies of cerebral specialization during reading. I: Studies of normal adults.Brain and Language, 1982,16, 300–315.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Neville, H. J., Snyder, E., Woods, D. L., &Galambos, R. Recognition and surprise alter the human visual evoked response.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 198279, 2121–2123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Oldfield, R. C. The assessment and analysis of handedness: The Edinburgh Inventory.Neuropsychotogla, 1971,9, 97–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Polich, J., Vanasse, L., &Donchin, E. Category expectancy and the N200.Psychophysiology, 1981,18, 142.Google Scholar
  56. Pritchard, W. S. Psychophysiology of P300.Psychological Bulletin, 1981,89, 506–540.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Ritter, W., Ford, J., Gaillard, A., Harter, R., Kutas, M., Naatanen, R., Polich, J., Renault, B., & Rohrbaugh, J. Cognition and event-related potentials: The relation of negative potentials and cognitive processes. In R. Karrer, J. Cohen, & P. Tueting (Eds.), Brain information: Event-related potentials. New York Academy of Sciences, New York. Monograph 12, in press.Google Scholar
  58. Ritter, W., Simson, R., Vaughan, H. G., Jr. Event-related potential correlates of two stages of information processing in physical and semantic discrimination tasks.Psychophysiology, 1983,20, 168–179.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Ritter, W., Simson, R., Vaughan, H. G., Jr., &Friedman, D. A brain event related to the making of a sensory discrimination.Science, 1979,203, 1358–1361.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Roth, W. T., Ford, J. M., &Kopell, B. S. Long-latency evoked potentials and reaction time.Psychophysiology, 1978,15, 17–23.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Schindler, R. M. The effects of prose context on visual search for letters.Memory & Cognition, 1978,6, 124–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Schuberth, R. E., &Eimas, P. D. Effects of context on the classification of words and nonwords.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 1977,3, 27–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Schuberth, R. E., Spoehr, K. T., &Lane, D. M. Effects of stimulus and contextual information on the lexical decision process.Memory & Cognition, 1981,9, 68–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Shannon, B. Interpretation of ungrammatical sentences.Journal of Verbal Learning and Behavior, 1973,12, 389–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Shelburne, S. A., Jr. Visual evoked responses to word and nonsense syllable stimuli.Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 1972,32, 17–25.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Simson, R., Vaughan, H. G., Jr., &Ritter, W. The scalp topography of potentials in auditory and visual discrimination tasks.Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 1977,42, 535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Snyder, E., &Hillyard, S. A. Long-latency evoked potentials to irrelevant deviant stimuli.Behavioral Biology, 1976,16, 319–331.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Squires, N. K., Squires, K. C., &Hillyard, S. A. Two varieties of long-latency positive waves evoked by unpredictable auditory stimuli.Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 1975,38, 387–401.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. Stanovich, K. E. Attention and automatic context effects in reading. In A. M. Lesgold & C. A. Perfetti (Eds.),Interactive processes in reading. Hillsdale, N.J: Erlbaum, 1981.Google Scholar
  70. Stanovich, K. E., &West, R. F. Mechanisms of sentence context effects in reading: Automatic activation and conscious attention.Memory & Cognition, 1979,7, 77–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Stanovich, K. E., &West, R. F. The effect of sentence context on ongoing word recognition: Tests of a two-process theory.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 1981,7, 658–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Stuss, D. T., Sarazin, F., Leech, E., & Picton, T. W. Evoked potentials during naming. In R. Karrer, J. Cohen, & P. Tueting (Eds.),Brain information: Event-related potentials. New York Academy of Sciences, New York. Monograph 12, in press.Google Scholar
  73. Swinney, D. A., Zurif, E. B., &Cutler, A. Effects of sentential stress and word class upon comprehension in Broca’s aphasia.Brain and Language, 1980,10, 132–144.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Tulving, E., &Gold, C. Stimulus information and contextual information as determination of tachistoscopic recognition of words.Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1963,66, 319–327.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  75. Tyler, L. K., &Marslen-Wilson, W. D. The on-line effects of semantic context on syntactic processing.Journal of Verbal Learning &: Verbal Behavior, 1977,16, 683–692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Tyler, L. K., &Marslen-Wilson, W. D. Children’s processing of spoken language.Journal of Verbal Learning &: Verbal Behavior, 1981,20, 400–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Underwood, G., &Bargh, K. Word shape, orthographic regularity, and contextual interactions in a reading task.Cognition, 1982,11, 197–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Wang, M. D. Influence of linguistic structure on comprehensibility and recognition.Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1970,15, 83–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Zurif, E. B. Language mechanisms: A neuropsychological perspective.American Scientist, 1980,68, 305–311.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta Kutas
    • 1
  • Steven A. Hillyard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosciencesUniversity of California at San DiegoLa Jolla

Personalised recommendations