Poster F47, Tuesday, March 27, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
The Neurophysiology of Visual Rhyme in Deaf Undergraduate Readers
Kali Cika1, Daniel Koo1, Lawrence Pick1, Veronica Cristiano1, Karen Garrido-Nag1; 1Gallaudet University
We used a visual rhyming priming paradigm to determine the time-course and distribution of neural activation in pre-linguistic deaf undergraduate students (n=48). Participants were presented with two written words judged to be at a second-grade reading level and decided whether they rhymed (chair-pear; foot-calf). Due to a large number of participants performing below chance-level, event-related potential (ERP) data was included from those who performed at or above chance-level accuracy (n=10). First, a sustained negativity, termed the contingent negative variation (CNV), was observed following the first stimulus word (prime). This negativity was found over the central sites, which contrasts with what is reported in the literature of deaf and hearing subjects. The second effect we observed was an enhanced negativity (N450) to the non-rhyming second stimulus word (target) compared to the target-rhyme. This is thought to be a reflection of phonological matching or the rhyming effect (RE). Results showed a more negative deflection for non-rhyming vs. rhyming targets over the midline to right hemisphere between 300 and 600 msec. As reported in previous literature, the neural processing of a phonological task such as rhyming appears to be similar between deaf and hearing individuals. The majority of participants reported ASL as their primary mode of communication, suggesting these results are modality- (spoken vs. sign) independent. A comprehensive battery of neuropsychological measures was also administered to gain a better understanding of the linguistics and reading profiles of these deaf students. The relationship between the neurophysiological and neuropsychological findings will be presented.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Other