Presentation Type

Poster

Title of Abstract

Semantic and phonological activation electrified: Brain electrophysiological correlates of masked picture priming in fluent and stuttering adults

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which target picture names can be primed by a variety of different types of masked prime words in typically-fluent adults and adults who stutter; the latter of whom are hypothesized to have diminished activation of lexical knowledge on the path to picture naming. A group of typically-fluent adults (TFA), and a group of adults who stutter (AWS), participated in a primed picture naming task modeled after a recently-published study by Chauncey, Holcomb, and Grainger (2009). On each trial, participants saw a crosshair, followed by a masked prime word, followed by a pictured object that participants named aloud. Event-related potentials (ERPs), recorded from picture onset, will be analyzed for N400 activity - brain electrophysiological activity sensitive to semantic and phonological priming. For the TFA group, we expect that N400 amplitude will attenuate when pictures are preceded by semantically- and phonologically-related prime words relative to N400 activity to pictures preceded by unrelated primes. In contrast, the AWS are expected to demonstrate atypical N400 priming effects; a prediction based on recent work by (Maxfield, Huffman, Frisch & Hinckley, 2010; and Maxfield, Pizon-Moore, Frisch, & Constantine, submitted). This study contributes to a growing body of research aimed at generating a mechanistic description of psycholinguistic processing skills in adults who stutter.

Categories

Behavioral Sciences

Research Type

Thesis

Mentor Information

Dr. Nathan Maxfield

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Semantic and phonological activation electrified: Brain electrophysiological correlates of masked picture priming in fluent and stuttering adults

The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which target picture names can be primed by a variety of different types of masked prime words in typically-fluent adults and adults who stutter; the latter of whom are hypothesized to have diminished activation of lexical knowledge on the path to picture naming. A group of typically-fluent adults (TFA), and a group of adults who stutter (AWS), participated in a primed picture naming task modeled after a recently-published study by Chauncey, Holcomb, and Grainger (2009). On each trial, participants saw a crosshair, followed by a masked prime word, followed by a pictured object that participants named aloud. Event-related potentials (ERPs), recorded from picture onset, will be analyzed for N400 activity - brain electrophysiological activity sensitive to semantic and phonological priming. For the TFA group, we expect that N400 amplitude will attenuate when pictures are preceded by semantically- and phonologically-related prime words relative to N400 activity to pictures preceded by unrelated primes. In contrast, the AWS are expected to demonstrate atypical N400 priming effects; a prediction based on recent work by (Maxfield, Huffman, Frisch & Hinckley, 2010; and Maxfield, Pizon-Moore, Frisch, & Constantine, submitted). This study contributes to a growing body of research aimed at generating a mechanistic description of psycholinguistic processing skills in adults who stutter.