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  Distinguishing old from new referents during discourse comprehension: Evidence from ERPs and oscillations

Nieuwland, M. S., Coopmans, C. W., & Sommers, R. P. (2019). Distinguishing old from new referents during discourse comprehension: Evidence from ERPs and oscillations. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 13: 398. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2019.00398.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-E78A-C Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-5D2A-5
Genre: Journal Article

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© 2019 Nieuwland, Coopmans and Sommers. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
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 Creators:
Nieuwland, Mante S.1, Author              
Coopmans, Cas W.1, 2, Author              
Sommers, Rowan P.1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Neurobiology of Language Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society, ou_792551              
2International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society, ou_1119545              

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 Abstract: In this EEG study, we used pre-registered and exploratory ERP and time-frequency analyses to investigate the resolution of anaphoric and non-anaphoric noun phrases during discourse comprehension. Participants listened to story contexts that described two antecedents, and subsequently read a target sentence with a critical noun phrase that lexically matched one antecedent (‘old’), matched two antecedents (‘ambiguous’), partially matched one antecedent in terms of semantic features (‘partial-match’), or introduced another referent (non-anaphoric, ‘new’). After each target sentence, participants judged whether the noun referred back to an antecedent (i.e., an ‘old/new’ judgment), which was easiest for ambiguous nouns and hardest for partially matching nouns. The noun-elicited N400 ERP component demonstrated initial sensitivity to repetition and semantic overlap, corresponding to repetition and semantic priming effects, respectively. New and partially matching nouns both elicited a subsequent frontal positivity, which suggested that partially matching anaphors may have been processed as new nouns temporarily. ERPs in an even later time window and ERPs time-locked to sentence-final words suggested that new and partially matching nouns had different effects on comprehension, with partially matching nouns incurring additional processing costs up to the end of the sentence. In contrast to the ERP results, the time-frequency results primarily demonstrated sensitivity to noun repetition, and did not differentiate partially matching anaphors from new nouns. In sum, our results show the ERP and time-frequency effects of referent repetition during discourse comprehension, and demonstrate the potentially demanding nature of establishing the anaphoric meaning of a novel noun.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-10-232019-11-14
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00398
 Degree: -

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Title: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  Abbreviation : Front Hum Neurosci
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Lausanne, Switzerland : Frontiers Research Foundation
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 13 Sequence Number: 398 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1662-5161
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1662-5161