ERP evidence for differential effects of word length in the left and right cerebral hemispheres

Authors Organisations
Type Paper
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event1st Joint Conference of the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS) and the Spanish Experimental Psychology Society (SEPEX) - Granada, Spain
Duration: 15 Apr 2010 → …

Conference

Conference1st Joint Conference of the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS) and the Spanish Experimental Psychology Society (SEPEX)
CountrySpain
CityGranada
Period15 Apr 2010 → …
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Abstract

ERP evidence for differential effects of word length in the left and right cerebral hemispheres Manipulating the length of words presented to the left and right visual fields has long been reported to elicit differing effects within each of the cerebral hemispheres (see Ellis, 2004 for a review). The basis for this observation is the fact that behavioural data from lateralised word recognition tasks typically demonstrate a right visual field advantage (RVFA), whereby the left hemisphere is thought to be relatively insensitive to the effects of increasing word length whilst both response latency and error rate increase as word length increases in the RH. The present study investigated the neural
basis of the RVFA. Twenty right‐handed English monolinguals performed lexical decision on short (4 letters) and long words (7 letters) presented to their left and right visual fields whilst ERPs were recorded from 64 scalp sites. Behavioural data showed the characteristic interaction between word length and visual field, with a greater effect of length in the RH than in the LH. ERP data revealed a first negative component (N1,~150ms) contralateral to stimulus presentation, with a larger difference in amplitude between short and long words in the RH than the LH for several temporal and parietal electrodes. A later effect of length (~300ms) was also observed in the RH for several parieto‐occipital sites, irrespective of where the stimulus was presented in the visual field. In the LH, processing for all words, irrespective of length and presentation location, was highly similar from ~190ms onwards in parieto‐occipital regions. The results of this investigation offer electrophysiological evidence for differential effects of word length in each of the cerebral hemispheres under conditions of lateralised presentation. The implications will be discussed in
terms of current models of word recognition.