Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Left-lateralized N170 effects of visual expertise in reading: evidence from Japanese syllabic and logographic scripts


Maurer, Urs; Zevin, Jason D; McCandliss, Bruce D (2008). Left-lateralized N170 effects of visual expertise in reading: evidence from Japanese syllabic and logographic scripts. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20(10):1878-1891.

Abstract

The N170 component of the event-related potential (ERP) reflects experience-dependent neural changes in several forms of visual expertise, including expertise for visual words. Readers skilled in writing systems that link characters to phonemes (i.e., alphabetic writing) typically produce a left-lateralized N170 to visual word forms. This study examined the N170 in three Japanese scripts that link characters to larger phonological units. Participants were monolingual English speakers (EL1) and native Japanese speakers (JL1) who were also proficient in English. ERPs were collected using a 129-channel array, as participants performed a series of experiments viewing words or novel control stimuli in a repetition detection task. The N170 was strongly left-lateralized for all three Japanese scripts (including logographic Kanji characters) in JL1 participants, but bilateral in EL1 participants viewing these same stimuli. This demonstrates that left-lateralization of the N170 is dependent on specific reading expertise and is not limited to alphabetic scripts. Additional contrasts within the moraic Katakana script revealed equivalent N170 responses in JL1 speakers for familiar Katakana words and for Kanji words transcribed into novel Katakana words, suggesting that the N170 expertise effect is driven by script familiarity rather than familiarity with particular visual word forms. Finally, for English words and novel symbol string stimuli, both EL1 and JL1 subjects produced equivalent responses for the novel symbols, and more left-lateralized N170 responses for the English words, indicating that such effects are not limited to the first language. Taken together, these cross-linguistic results suggest that similar neural processes underlie visual expertise for print in very different writing systems.

Abstract

The N170 component of the event-related potential (ERP) reflects experience-dependent neural changes in several forms of visual expertise, including expertise for visual words. Readers skilled in writing systems that link characters to phonemes (i.e., alphabetic writing) typically produce a left-lateralized N170 to visual word forms. This study examined the N170 in three Japanese scripts that link characters to larger phonological units. Participants were monolingual English speakers (EL1) and native Japanese speakers (JL1) who were also proficient in English. ERPs were collected using a 129-channel array, as participants performed a series of experiments viewing words or novel control stimuli in a repetition detection task. The N170 was strongly left-lateralized for all three Japanese scripts (including logographic Kanji characters) in JL1 participants, but bilateral in EL1 participants viewing these same stimuli. This demonstrates that left-lateralization of the N170 is dependent on specific reading expertise and is not limited to alphabetic scripts. Additional contrasts within the moraic Katakana script revealed equivalent N170 responses in JL1 speakers for familiar Katakana words and for Kanji words transcribed into novel Katakana words, suggesting that the N170 expertise effect is driven by script familiarity rather than familiarity with particular visual word forms. Finally, for English words and novel symbol string stimuli, both EL1 and JL1 subjects produced equivalent responses for the novel symbols, and more left-lateralized N170 responses for the English words, indicating that such effects are not limited to the first language. Taken together, these cross-linguistic results suggest that similar neural processes underlie visual expertise for print in very different writing systems.

Statistics

Citations

60 citations in Web of Science®
63 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

35 downloads since deposited on 14 Jul 2014
19 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:14 Jul 2014 14:33
Last Modified:03 Aug 2017 16:25
Publisher:MIT Press
ISSN:0898-929X
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn.2008.20125
PubMed ID:18370600

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Preview
Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF
Size: 402kB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations