Psychology Publications

Title

Generalized Event Knowledge Activation During Online Language Comprehension

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2012

Journal

Journal of Memory and Language

Volume

66

Issue

4

First Page

545

Last Page

567

URL with Digital Object Identifier

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2012.01.001

Abstract

Online language comprehension is guided by knowledge regarding real-world events. However, it remains unclear whether activation of event knowledge during language comprehension is constrained by the linguistic context or is generalized, including a wide variety of information associated with the event even if that information has not been mentioned previously and does not satisfy constraints imposed by the local linguistic context. The present study addresses this issue by analyzing event-related brain potentials recorded as participants read brief scenarios describing typical real-world events. The amplitude of the N400 elicited by a contextually anomalous word was reduced if that word was related to the event described. This result suggests that online language comprehension involves construction of rich event representations that include information beyond that which is relevant to the processing of the current linguistic input.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Citation of this paper:

This article was initially published by Elsevier in the Journal of Memory and Language. The final published version is available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2012.01.001

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