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A single sustained negative evoked potential occurring when a person encounters an unexpected or incongruous word when reading a sentence such as He spread the warm bread with socks, in which the N400 potential would be elicited by the final word. It is specifically associated with language processing in the brain, and its name alludes to the fact that its peak occurs about 400 milliseconds after the unexpected stimulus, with onset at about 200 milliseconds and offset at about 500 milliseconds. It was first reported in an article in the journal Science in 1980. [From n(egative) 400 milliseconds]

Subjects: Psychology.

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