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  Rhythm's gonna get you: Regular meter facilitates semantic sentence processing

Rothermich, K., Schmidt-Kassow, M., & Kotz, S. A. (2012). Rhythm's gonna get you: Regular meter facilitates semantic sentence processing. Neuropsychologia, 50(2), 232-244. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.10.025.

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 Creators:
Rothermich, Kathrin1, Author              
Schmidt-Kassow, Maren2, Author              
Kotz, Sonja A.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Minerva Research Group Neurocognition of Rhythm in Communication, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634560              
2Institute of Medical Psychology, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: ERPs; Semantics; Rhythm; Meter; Prediction; Expectancy; Facilitation
 Abstract: Rhythm is a phenomenon that fundamentally affects the perception of events unfolding in time. In language, we define ‘rhythm’ as the temporal structure that underlies the perception and production of utterances, whereas ‘meter’ is defined as the regular occurrence of beats (i.e. stressed syllables). In stress-timed languages such as German, this regularity functions as a powerful temporal and structural cue in speech comprehension. Recent evidence shows that it also interacts with higher level linguistic faculties such as syntax (Schmidt-Kassow & Kotz, 2009a). The current ERP experiment investigated the impact of metric structure on lexico-semantic processing, comparing the effects of semantic and metric expectancy in regular and irregular metric sentence contexts. We predicted that (1) semantically unexpected words would result in an increased N400 amplitude and (2) metric context modulates the N400 amplitude. Our results confirm these predictions: semantically unexpected words elicit an N400 that is significantly smaller in a metrically regular than a metrically irregular sentence context. The current findings support the idea that metric regularity enhances the prediction of stress locations in a sentence context, which in turn facilitates lexico-semantic integration.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2011-10-312011-12-092012-02
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.10.025
PMID: 22178743
Other: Epub 2011
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Title: Neuropsychologia
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Oxford : Pergamon
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 50 (2) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 232 - 244 Identifier: ISSN: 0028-3932
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925428258