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Centro-parietal N200: An event-related potential component specific to Chinese visual word recognition
Zhang, John X.1,2; Fang Zhuo2; Du YingChun3; Kong LingYue4; Zhang Qin5; Xing Qiang6; Zhang, JX (reprint author), Chinese Univ Hong Kong, Dept Psychol, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Peoples R China.
2012-05-01
Source PublicationCHINESE SCIENCE BULLETIN
ISSN1001-6538
SubtypeArticle
Volume57Issue:13Pages:1516-1532
Contribution Rank3
AbstractAlmost all written languages currently used in the world are alphabetic or phonologically-based scripts (e.g., English) whose word recognition involves discrimination of one-dimensional linear combinations of several dozens of letters or phonological units, except written Chinese whose vocabulary consists of a large number of block characters, the analysis of which relies on the extraction of 2-dimensional form information at multiple levels including radical, character, and multiple-character word. Whether the dramatic contrast between the 2 types of orthography leads to distinctive mental processes is a fundamental question in psycholinguistic research unanswered in the past three decades. Using event-related potentials and visual lexical decision tasks, we asked native Chinese speakers to discriminate between real Chinese words and pseudo- or non-words and observed a widespread negative deflection with centro-parietal focus elicited 200 ms post-stimulus onset. This N200 response showed a clear and large amplitude enhancement upon word repetition and seems to be specific to Chinese as no similar effects had been reported in word recognition studies involving alphabetic scripts under similar experimental conditions. Further evidence showed that this N200 could not be attributed to non-linguistic sensori-perceptual processes, nor phonological or semantic processes, but likely reflects very early identification of the orthography of individual words involving extensive and higher-level visual analysis. Recently the first author proposed a meaning-spelling theory of written Chinese vocabulary proposing that the Chinese and alphabetic scripts are the only 2 possible logical types of mature human writing systems, and that the former is more thoroughly a visual language compared with the latter and thus shall emphasize more of visual processing. Reinforcing each other, the meaning-spelling theory and the discovery of the centro-parietal N200 reveal the uniqueness of Chinese both theoretically and empirically, and provide strong arguments for the intrinsic distinction between written Chinese and alphabetic scripts.
KeywordN200 Chinese character word recognition orthography meaning-spelling theory alphabetic script
Subject AreaPerception Psychology
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Indexed BySCI
Language英语
Funding OrganizationNational Natural Science Foundation of China [30670702] ; Chinese University of Hong Kong [2020940]
Project Intro.This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30670702) and the Direct Grant from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2020940).
WOS IDWOS:000303388200009
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Cited Times:17[WOS]   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://ir.psych.ac.cn/handle/311026/11433
Collection中国科学院行为科学重点实验室
Corresponding AuthorZhang, JX (reprint author), Chinese Univ Hong Kong, Dept Psychol, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Peoples R China.
Affiliation1.Chinese Univ Hong Kong, Dept Psychol, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Peoples R China
2.Shantou Univ, Coll Med, Shantou 515041, Peoples R China
3.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Psychol, Key Lab Behav Sci, Beijing 100101, Peoples R China
4.Peking Univ, Int Coll Chinese Language Studies, Beijing 100871, Peoples R China
5.Capital Normal Univ, Dept Psychol, Beijing 100048, Peoples R China
6.Guangzhou Univ, Dept Psychol, Guangzhou 510006, Guangdong, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Zhang, John X.,Fang Zhuo,Du YingChun,et al. Centro-parietal N200: An event-related potential component specific to Chinese visual word recognition[J]. CHINESE SCIENCE BULLETIN,2012,57(13):1516-1532.
APA Zhang, John X..,Fang Zhuo.,Du YingChun.,Kong LingYue.,Zhang Qin.,...&Zhang, JX .(2012).Centro-parietal N200: An event-related potential component specific to Chinese visual word recognition.CHINESE SCIENCE BULLETIN,57(13),1516-1532.
MLA Zhang, John X.,et al."Centro-parietal N200: An event-related potential component specific to Chinese visual word recognition".CHINESE SCIENCE BULLETIN 57.13(2012):1516-1532.
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