Aniello De Santo

Affiliation: 
Stony Brook University
Talk Title: 
Quantified Sentences as a Window into Prediction and Priming: An ERP Study
Event Type: 
Brown Bag Talk
Semester: 
Spring 2018
Date: 
Wednesday, April 4, 2018, 1:00 pm
Location: 
Seminar room
Quantified Sentences as a Window into Prediction and Priming: An ERP Study
(joint work with Jon Rawski and John E. Drury)
 
In this study, we examined the processing of quantified sentences in an auditory/visual verification task to probe truth-value/quantifier-type influences on the N400 ERP response. 

Previous studies have demonstrated the N400 to be insensitive to truth-value/negation in verification paradigms (Fischler et al. 1983; Kounios & Holcomb 1992) while exhibiting modulations for subject/predicate relatedness (e.g., N400 for ROCK>BIRD in "A robin IS/IS-NOT a ROCK/BIRD). However, Nieuwland & Kuperberg (2008) argue such uses of negation are pragmatically unnatural, and when this is controlled, N400 amplitude can be modulated by truth-value (False>True). 

Here, to unequivocally disambiguate truth-value and priming, we used quantified sentences associated with a visual scene relevant to verification. We show that in such pragmatically natural contexts N400s were driven by priming of the expected auditory continuation, and were not modulated by truth-value.
In light of our results, we also discuss evidence for early prediction effects tied to the truth-conditional properties of quantifiers; and for ERP markers of quantifier complexity.