The late positive component (P300) and information processing in sentences

Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology
D FriedmanI Rapin


Averaged visual evoked potentials to sequentially flashed words comprising a sentence were recorded from vertex and left and right temporoparietal electrodes in 8 right-handed subjects. In condition 1 the sentence took the form: The -eel is on the shoe, in which the first grapheme was omitted from the second word, so that the subject did not know the meaning of the second word until he viewed the last word. In condition 2, the sentence took the form: The heel is on the shoe, in which the second word was given and the last word provided no further information. P300 latency to words which delivered information (last word of condition 1, second word of condition 2) were significantly longer than P300 latency to any of the other words in the sentence, as well as to the same position word in the other condition. Comparisons of P300 latencies to redundant words (the, is, on) within and between conditions showed no significant differences. P300 amplitude to the last word was significantly larger than P300 amplitude to any of the other words within the sentence, even in condition 2 where the second word delivered information. The major effect of information delivery was on P300 latency, while "syntactic closure" had its major effect on...Continue Reading


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Reaction Time
Visual Perception
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