Rabs, Elisabeth; Drenhaus, Heiner; Delogu, Francesca; Crocker, Matthew W.

The influence of script knowledge on language processing: Evidence from ERPs

23rd AMLaP Conference, Lancaster, UK, 2017.

Previous research has shown that the semantic expectedness of a word – as established by the linguistic context – is negatively correlated with N400 amplitude. While such evidence has been used to argue that the N400 indexes semantic integration processes, findings can often be explained in terms of facilitated lexical retrieval, which, among other factors, is influenced by lexical/semantic priming. In the present study we examine this issue by manipulating script event knowledge – a person’s knowledge about structured event sequences – which has been previously shown to modulate the N400. An ERP-study (German) investigated whether N400 modulation by a mentioned script event is due to priming alone, or is further sensitive to linguistic cues which would be expected to modulate script influence.