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  Yes, you can? A speaker’s potency to act upon his words orchestrates early neural responses to message-level meaning

Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I., Krauspenhaar, S., & Schlesewsky, M. (2013). Yes, you can? A speaker’s potency to act upon his words orchestrates early neural responses to message-level meaning. PLoS One, 8(7): e69173. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069173.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0015-844B-1 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-86C5-7
Genre: Journal Article

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© 2013 Bornkessel-Schlesewsky et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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 Creators:
Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina1, 2, Author              
Krauspenhaar, Sylvia2, Author
Schlesewsky, Matthias3, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Germanic Linguistics, Philipps University Marburg, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Max Planck Research Group Neurotypology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634568              
3Department of English and Linguistics, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: Evidence is accruing that, in comprehending language, the human brain rapidly integrates a wealth of information sources–including the reader or hearer’s knowledge about the world and even his/her current mood. However, little is known to date about how language processing in the brain is affected by the hearer’s knowledge about the speaker. Here, we investigated the impact of social attributions to the speaker by measuring event-related brain potentials while participants watched videos of three speakers uttering true or false statements pertaining to politics or general knowledge: a top political decision maker (the German Federal Minister of Finance at the time of the experiment), a well-known media personality and an unidentifiable control speaker. False versus true statements engendered an N400 - late positivity response, with the N400 (150–450 ms) constituting the earliest observable response to message-level meaning. Crucially, however, the N400 was modulated by the combination of speaker and message: for false versus true political statements, an N400 effect was only observable for the politician, but not for either of the other two speakers; for false versus true general knowledge statements, an N400 was engendered by all three speakers. We interpret this result as demonstrating that the neurophysiological response to message-level meaning is immediately influenced by the social status of the speaker and whether he/she has the power to bring about the state of affairs described.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2012-11-122013-06-122013-07-24
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
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 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069173
PMID: 23894425
PMC: PMC3722173
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Title: PLoS One
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: San Francisco, CA : Public Library of Science
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 8 (7) Sequence Number: e69173 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1932-6203
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1000000000277850