Poster E35, Monday, March 27, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Pacific Concourse
Monitoring In Second Language Reading: Evidence From ERPs
Marieke Engbrenghof1,2, Nan van de Meerendonk3, Megan Zirnstein4, Judith F. Kroll4,5, Dorothee J. Chwilla1; 1Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 2University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands, 3Thebe, The Netherlands, 4University of California, Riverside, 5Pennsylvania State University
Clear evidence has been presented for monitoring in first language (L1) comprehension. The goal of this study was to examine monitoring in a second language (L2). For the L1, constraining sentences (e.g., “The eye consisting of a pupil, iris and…”) with a mild conflict (e.g., “eyebrow”) have been shown to elicit an N400, whereas those with a strong conflict (e.g., “sticker”) elicit both an N400 and P600 (Van de Meerendonk et al., 2010). Strong conflict may be needed for the brain to reanalyse the input, in order to check for possible processing errors, as reflected by P600. In the current study, we investigated monitoring in the L2 by manipulating the plausibility of a critical word in a sentence to create differences in conflict strength (no, mild, and strong conflict). Dutch-English bilinguals read sentences in the L2 (English) while EEG was recorded. The key question was whether a strong conflict would elicit a monophasic N400 or a biphasic N400-P600 pattern, as was found for the L1 in the previous study. Results for the L2 showed a native-like N400 effect for both mild and strong conflicts. Importantly, a strong conflict also elicited a P600. These results in the L2, therefore, were similar to those for the L1 readers. However, the scalp distribution of the effects in the L2 differed somewhat from the L1, suggesting the involvement of different neuronal populations. In conclusion, the biphasic N400-P600 pattern for L2 readers observed for strong conflicts supports the view that monitoring occurs during L2 comprehension.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Monitoring & inhibitory control