Tamara Y. Swaab

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One of the core aspects of human sentence processing is the ability to detect errors and to recover from erroneous analysis through revision of ambiguous sentences and repair of ungrammatical sentences. In the present study, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to help identify the nature of these processes by directly comparing ERPs to complex ambiguous(More)
Reading or hearing a sentence such as ‘The little old man knocked out the giant wrestler’ demonstrates the crucial role of syntax in normal language understanding. Identifying who did what to whom enables humans to understand the unlikely scenario that is described here. Thus, syntactic information helps us combine the words we hear or read in a particular(More)
Lexical-semantic processing impairments in aphasic patients with left hemisphere lesions and non-aphasic patients with right hemisphere lesions were investigated by recording event-related brain potentials (ERPs) while subjects listened to auditorily presented word pairs. The word pairs consisted of unrelated words, or words that were related in meaning.(More)
Understanding the neural representation of semantic concepts is at the core of understanding human knowledge and experience. Competing cognitive theories suggest that these neural representations are based on either a unitary semantic code or on multiple semantic codes. We contrasted these theories using event-related fMRI in a semantic priming study. Pairs(More)
This study investigates whether spoken sentence comprehension deficits in Broca's aphasics results from their inability to access the subordinate meaning of ambiguous words (e.g. bank), or alternatively, from a delay in their selection of the contextually appropriate meaning. Twelve Broca's aphasics and twelve elderly controls were presented with lexical(More)
Concrete, highly imageable words (e.g. banana) are easier to understand than abstract words for which it is difficult to generate an image (e.g. justice). This effect of concreteness or imageability has been taken by some as evidence for the existence of separable verbal- and image-based semantic systems. Instead, however, effects of concreteness may result(More)
Spoken language comprehension requires rapid integration of information from multiple linguistic sources. In the present study we addressed the temporal aspects of this integration process by focusing on the time course of the selection of the appropriate meaning of lexical ambiguities ("bank") in sentence contexts. Successful selection of the contextually(More)
We present results from a study demonstrating that high- and low-span listeners show qualitatively different brain responses when comprehending simple active sentences. Participants listened to naturally produced sentences in three conditions in which the plausibility of thematic relations was manipulated, for instance: The dog(1)/The poet(2)/The box(3) is(More)
In this study the N400 component of the event-related potential was used to investigate spoken sentence understanding in Broca's and Wernicke's aphasics. The aim of the study was to determine whether spoken sentence comprehension problems in these patients might result from a deficit in the on-line integration of lexical information. Subjects listened to(More)
Five experiments used ERPs and eye tracking to determine the interplay of word-level and discourse-level information during sentence processing. Subjects read sentences that were locally congruent but whose congruence with discourse context was manipulated. Furthermore, critical words in the local sentence were preceded by a prime word that was associated(More)