Neurophysiological correlates of language processing – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Neurophysiological correlates of language processing

Matthew Button


Research Mentor(s): Jonathan Brennan, Assistant Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Linguistics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 5 (3pm-3:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 19
Presenter: 2

Event Link


We examine the N400 as a response to single words. Prior to each target word a prime word is presented that may be semantically related to the target anomalous word. We then measure the brain wave response through the scalp using EEG to look at the electrical activity in the time for the duration of the stimulus. After cleaning data of artifacts such as those due to blinking, heartbeat, or saccades we then take compute the average event-related potential (ERP) for each subject and condition. Beyond the existence of the N400 and its relative amplitude with relation to conceptual similarity of the primed and target words we are particularly interested in the latency of the N400 which has hitherto only been influenced by subject age. Specifically , the speed of the priming words’ utterances could affect the brain response. We concluded from these measurements and subsequent analysis [Data is still being analyzed and no conclusion have been made at this stage yet]. This conclusion however has implications for our current understanding of semantic memory and underlying natural language processes of the brain.

Authors: Matthew Button
Research Method: Computer Programming

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