Article

Word processing in the brain as revealed by neurophysiological imaging

Friedemann Pulvermüller

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780198568971
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198568971.013.0008
 Word processing in the brain as revealed by neurophysiological imaging

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The advent of neuroimaging opened new research perspectives for the psycholinguist as it became possible to look at the neuronal mass activity that underlies language processing. Studies of brain correlates of psycholinguistic processes can complement behavioural results, and in some cases can lead to direct information about the basis of psycholinguistic processes. Even more importantly, the neuroscience move in psycholinguistics made it possible to advance language theorising to the level of the brain. This article discusses neurophysiological imaging with electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography. It examines behavioural and neurophysiological evidence in psycholinguistic research, focusing on lexical class membership and word frequency. The article also considers event-related potentials indicating language processing, early and late language potentials and their implications for psycholinguistics, the universe of psycholinguistic variables and its neurophysiological reality, and laterality of neurophysiological activity interpreted as the critical brain feature of language.

Keywords: neurophysiological imaging; electroencephalography; magnetoencephalography; psycholinguistics; neuroscience; word frequency; event-related potentials; language processing; language potentials; laterality

Article.  14291 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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