Volume 10, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1871-1340
  • E-ISSN: 1871-1375
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The current research utilizes lexical decision within an oddball ERP paradigm to study early lexical processing. Nineteen undergraduate students completed four blocks of the oddball lexical decision task (Nonword targets among Words, Word targets among Nonwords, Word targets among Pseudowords, and Pseudoword targets among Words). We observed a reliable P3 ERP component in conditions where the distinction between rare and frequent trials could be made solely based on lexical status (Words among Nonwords and Nonwords among Words). We saw a reliable P3 to rare words among frequent pseudowords, but no P3 was observed when participants were asked to detect pseudowords in the context of frequent word stimuli. We argue that this observed modulation of the P3 results is consistent with psycholinguistic literature that suggests that two criteria are available during lexical access when performing a lexicality judgement, a non-lexical criterion that relies on global activation at the word level and a lexical criterion that relies on activation of a lexical representation (Coltheart, Rastle, Perry, Langdon, & Ziegler, 2001; Grainger & Jacobs, 1996).


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