An exploration of spoken rhyme effects in adults using event-related potentials
LE3 .A278 2019
Newman, Randy Lynn
Bachelor of Science
It is widely accepted that the N400, an event-related potential (ERP) associated with phonological and semantic processing, will be attenuated in amplitude to rhyming word pairs compared to non-rhyming word pairs. However, the timing of the rhyme effect has varied across studies from as early as (150 ms) to as late as (500 ms). The current study explored whether the reason for this discrepancy relates to the use of an implicit rhyming task versus an explicit one. Participants (N=16) completed a picture-word matching task while ERP responses were recorded. Spoken words either matched the picture or mismatched the picture in one of two ways: the spoken word either rhymed with the picture (e.g., CONE, bone) or was unrelated to the picture (e.g., CONE, fox). An early response, the Phonological Mapping Negativity (PMN) did not show a rhyme effect, nor did the early part of the N400. However, the later part of the N400 did demonstrate a rhyme effect as it was attenuated to rhyming words compared to unrelated words. The late occurring rhyme effect suggests that implicit tasks delay rhyming effects, which has implications for the type of tasks employed to study the development of the N400.
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