Poster C53, Sunday, March 26, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Effects of Iconicity on Cross-modal Translation Priming in Hearing Learners of American Sign Language and Deaf Native Signers: An ERP Study
Megan Mott1, Katherine J. Midgley1, Phillip J. Holcomb1, Karen Emmorey1; 1San Diego State University
This study examines cross-modal translation priming (printed English to ASL signs) in individuals with minimal knowledge of ASL and in deaf native signers. EEG was recorded as participants watched video clips of a signer producing 80 ASL signs (40 signs primed by a congruent English translation/ 40 primed by an unrelated English word). Half of the ASL targets were iconic signs (signs that have a non-arbitrary mapping between form and meaning) while the other half were non-iconic (based on normative ratings). ERPs time-locked to the onset of the video clips were averaged across a group of 20 native signers and a group of 24 hearing speakers of English who had recently learned all 80 signs through associative learning protocols in a laboratory setting (each English/ASL pair presented 5 times across two learning sessions). ERPs of the hearing learners showed expected repetition effects (an increased negativity to unrelated translations compared to congruent translations) beginning 600ms after clip onset for iconic signs, and at 800ms for non-iconic signs. Repetition effects (for both sign types) were evident in the ERPs of deaf signers 500ms after clip onset. These results suggest that, while cross-modal translation priming effects are observed in the ERPs of hearing learners of ASL within the first few hours of instruction, the time-course of these effects is delayed compared to native users of ASL. These results also suggest that iconicity of a sign facilitates priming for new learners of ASL, but does not affect the time-course of processing for native signers.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Lexicon