Semantic Priming Effects in a Second Language: An Event-Related Potential Study

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This study addressed the question whether the second language (L2) of bilinguals can access conceptual memory as directly as their first language (L1). Swedish undergraduates, with English as their second language, performed two tasks in both L1 and L2. Exp. 1 used a picture-name verification task, where pictures induced automatic semantic priming. Exp. 2 used a category-exemplar verification task, where pictures induced strategic priming. The primary measure was reduction of the N400 amplitude in the ERP. Experiment 1 showed a fronto-central priming effect that did not differ between L1 and L2 in amplitude, topographical distribution, or peak latency. Experiment 2 showed a different, centro-parietal priming effect that was similar in amplitude between L1 and L2, but differed in peak latency, and lateral distribution. The study indicates that L2 provides direct automatic access to conceptual memory, although strategic use may recruit partly different neuronal resources in L2 than in L1.
Sidor (från-till)105
TidskriftBulletin of the Psychonomic Society
NummerNov Abstract Supplement
StatusPublished - 2004

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Neurologi


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