Electrophysiological Indices of Speech Processing
Some Core Facts About Event-Related Brain Potentials (ERPs)
Speech and its acoustic and linguistic properties essentially evolve in time (Kotz and Schwartze 2010). Therefore, high-temporal-resolution methods such as the electroencephalography (EEG) or magnetoencephalography (MEG) are well suited to trace the temporal unfolding of the speech signal. In particular, ERPs embedded in the EEG permit speech to be monitored with millisecond resolution. By time-locking and averaging ERPs to a large number of specific and similar speech events, responses to acoustic and linguistic properties of these events can tell us how an event is perceived and understood as it occurs. The resulting wavelike pattern consists of an alteration of positive and negative peaks that, when compared to a control condition, leads to the emergence of components that are defined by their polarity (positive or negative), by the delay after the onset of an event of interest (latency), and by their distribution across...
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