Electrophysiological Indices of Lexical Processing The Effects of Verb Complexity and Age Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1996
Electrophysiological Indices of Lexical Processing
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Scott S. Rubin
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Neurophysiologic Research Laboratory The University of Georgia Athens
  • Marilyn Newhoff
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Neurophysiologic Research Laboratory The University of Georgia Athens
  • Richard K. Peach
    Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences Rush University Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center Chicago, IL
  • Lewis P. Shapiro
    Department of Communicative Disorders San Diego State University San Diego, CA
  • Contact author: Scott S. Rubin, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, 528 Aderhold Hall, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. Email: rubin@moe.coe.uga.edu
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1996
Electrophysiological Indices of Lexical Processing
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1996, Vol. 39, 1071-1080. doi:10.1044/jshr.3905.1071
History: Received March 17, 1995 , Accepted April 24, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1996, Vol. 39, 1071-1080. doi:10.1044/jshr.3905.1071
History: Received March 17, 1995; Accepted April 24, 1996

To further investigate the effects that argument structure can have on language processing, reaction-time (RT) and event-related potential (ERP) data were collected for 14 younger subjects (M = 23 years) and 13 older subjects (M = 66 years). A cross-modal lexical decision (CMLD) task, involving online processing of high- and low-complexity verbs embedded in sentences, was used. Results of a baseline nonlinguistic visual ERP task indicated that the older group of subjects demonstrated significantly longer P300 latencies and significantly lower P300 amplitudes than the younger subjects. In the sentence task, younger subjects exhibited significantly higher P300 amplitudes when processing high- versus low-complexity verbs, with a similar pattern noted for the older subjects. P300 latencies were significantly shorter for the older group than the younger group. Neither P300 latencies nor RTs were significantly related to verb complexity, although medium to large effect sizes were present. Overall, these findings support earlier notions of argument structure effects.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank Dr. Heikki Lyytinen, Paavo Leppanen, Taisto Leppasaari, and Heikki Melkinen at The University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, for their technical assistance and for providing the DSAMP system. For their assistance in Event Organizer programming, we offer thanks to Timo Rossi and Jouni Kourki, also of The University of Jyvaskyla. Eiko Kitazawa and Virginia Calder, at The University of Georgia, were particularly helpful in preparing the P300 waveform figures. Finally, we appreciate the comments on earlier versions of this manuscript offered by Drs. Cynthia Thompson and Don Robin and an anonymous reviewer. The work reported in this paper was partially supported by NIH Grant DC00494.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access