Orthographic influences on metaphonological tasks: evidence from event-related brain potentials (ERP)
LE3 .A278 2012
Newman, Randy Lynn
Bachelor of Science
Metaphonological tasks are often used to assess children’s phonological processing skills and predict their reading abilities (e.g., Ecalle & Magnan, 2007). The present thesis uses event-related brain potentials (ERP) to determine whether two metaphonological tasks are subject to orthographic influences. In Experiment 1, participants performed a phoneme deletion task better with transparent words (e.g., buckle) compared to opaque words (e.g., knuckle). ERP responses triggered to the isolation point of the words showed greater negativity between 200ms and 400ms in the opaque condition compared to the transparent condition. In Experiment 2, a phoneme replacement task was conducted, in which nonword targets (e.g., /tif/) were primed with pseudohomographs (e.g., /dif/), nonhomographs (e.g., /zif/), and unrelated nonwords (e.g., /wus/). As expected, the unrelated nonwords showed PMN and N400 responses. However, the pseudohomograph and nonhomograph conditions did not show either response, indicating significant priming of the target. It was concluded that orthography is automatically activated in metaphonological tasks when performed with word stimuli, but not when performed with nonword stimuli. Future studies should evaluate the use of metaphonological tasks with nonword stimuli as a more appropriate measure for predicting children’s reading abilities and assessing their phonological skills. Keywords: metaphonological tasks, orthography, event-related brain potentials (ERP)
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