ERP Effects of Word Exposure and Orthographic Knowledge on Lexical Decisions in Spanish


Orthographic knowledge is affected by language processing, which is associated with word exposure. This study used event-related potentials (ERP) to explore this association in Spanish-speaking adults with different levels of orthographic competence (High Spelling Skills: HSS; Low Spelling Skills: LSS) while they performed a lexical decision task on previously exposed words (1 or 5 times). Both groups benefited from the exposure rate, but HSS reached significantly higher correct and faster responses, particularly with repeated words. Word recognition potential (RP) amplitude was higher bilaterally in HSS group, especially with repeated words, while P220 was found to be right-lateralized and sensitive to word exposure. Also, the amplitude of P600 varied as a function of word exposure and positively correlated with reading speed. Results suggest that LSS group is less sensitive to word exposure and fails to automatize strategies to word recognition that affect reading fluency.

Share and Cite:

González-Garrido, A. , Gómez-Velázquez, F. , Zarabozo, D. , Zarabozo-Hurtado, D. and Joshi, R. (2015) ERP Effects of Word Exposure and Orthographic Knowledge on Lexical Decisions in Spanish. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 5, 185-193. doi: 10.4236/jbbs.2015.56019.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Mitchell, A.M. and Brady, S.A. (2013) The Effect of Vocabulary Knowledge on Novel Word Identification. Annals of Dyslexia, 63, 201-216.
[2] Brem, S., Lang-Dullenkopf, A., Maurer, U., Halder, P., Bucher, K. and Brandeis, D. (2005) Neurophysiological Signs of Rapidly Emerging Visual Expertise for Symbol Strings. NeuroReport, 16, 45-48.
[3] Perfetti, C.A. (1985) Reading Ability. Oxford University Press, New York.
[4] Rawson, K.A. and Middleton, E.L. (2009) Memory-Based Processing as a Mechanism of Automaticity in Text Comprehension. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35, 353-370.
[5] Chateau, D. and Jared, D. (2000) Exposure to Print and Word Recognition Processes. Memory & Cognition, 28, 143-153.
[6] Forster, K.I. and Davis, C. (1984) Repetition Priming and Frequency Attenuation in Lexical Access. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 10, 680-698.
[7] Tenpenny, P.L. (1995) Abstractionist versus Episodic Theories of Repetition Priming and Word Identification. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2, 339-363.
[8] Kellogg, R.T., Newcombe, C., Kammer, D. and Schmitt, K. (1996) Attention in Direct and Indirect Memory Tasks with Short- and Long-term Probes. The American Journal of Psychology, 109, 205-217.
[9] Martín-Loeches, M, Hinojosa, J.A. Casado, P., Muoz, F. and Fernández-Frías, C. (2004) Electrophysiological Evidence of an Early Effect of Sentence Context in Reading. Biological Psychology, 65, 265-280.
[10] Martín-Loeches, M., Sommer, W. and Hinojosa, J.A. (2005) ERP Components Reflecting Stimulus Identification: Contrasting the Recognition Potential and the Early Repetition Effect (N250r). International Journal of Psychophysiology, 55, 113-125.
[11] Grainger, J., Kiyonaga, K. and Holcomb, P.J. (2006) The Time Course of Orthographic and Phonological Code Activation. Psychological Science, 17, 1021-1026.
[12] Spironelli, C. and Angrilli, A. (2007) Influence of Phonological, Semantic and Orthographic Tasks on the Early Linguistic Components N150 and N350. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 64, 190-198.
[13] Bentin, S., Mouchetant-Rostaing, Y., Giard, M.H., Echallier, J.F. and Pernier, J. (1999) ERP Manifestations of Processing Printed Words at Different Psycholinguistic Levels: Time Course and Scalp Distribution. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 11, 235-260.
[14] Hillyard, S.A. and Kutas, M. (1983) Electrophysiology of Cognitive Processing, Annual Review of Psychology, 34, 33-61.
[15] Cao, F., Rickles, B., Vu, M., Zhu, Z.H., Chan, D.H.L., Stafura, J., Xu, Y., Harris, L.N. and Perfetti, C.A. (2013) Early Stage Visual-Orthographic Processes Predict Long-Term Retention of Word Form and Meaning: A Visual Encoding Training Study. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 26, 440-461.
[16] Cohen, L., Dehaene, S., Naccache, L., Lehéricy, S., Dehaene-Lambertz, G., Hénaff, M.A. and Michel, F. (2000) The Visual Word Form Area: Spatial and Temporal Characterization of an Initial Stage of Reading in Normal Subjects and Posterior Split-Brain Patients. Brain, 123, 291-307.
[17] Dehaene, S. (1995) Electrophysiological Evidence for Category-Specific Word Processing in the Normal Human Brain. Neuroreport, 6, 2153-2157.
[18] Liu, Y. and Perfetti, C.A. (2003) The Time Course of Brain Activity in Reading English and Chinese: An ERP Study of Chinese Bilinguals. Human Brain Mapping, 18, 167-175.
[19] Schendan, H.E., Ganis, G. and Kutas, M. (1998) Neuro-physiological Evidence for Visual Perceptual Categorization of Words and Faces within 150 ms. Psychophysiology, 35, 240-251.
[20] Luck, S.J. and Hillyard, S.A. (1994) Electro-physiological Correlates of Feature Analysis during Visual Search. Psycho-physiology, 31, 291-308.
[21] Federmeier, K.D., Mai, H. and Kutas, M. (2005) Both Sides Get the Point: Hemispheric Sensitivities to Sentential Constraint. Memory & Cognition, 33, 871-886.
[22] Van Petten, C. and Kutas, M. (1990) Interactions between Sentence Context and Word Frequency in Event-Related Brain Potentials. Memory & Cognition, 18, 380-393.
[23] Rugg, M.D. (1985) The Effects of Semantic Priming and Word Repetition on Event-Related Potentials. Psichophysiology, 22, 642-647.
[24] Kutas, M. and Hillyard, S.A. (1984) Brain Potentials during Reading Reflect Word Expectancy and Semantic Association. Nature, 307, 161-163.
[25] Bentin, S., McCarthy, G. and Wood, C.C. (1985) Event-Related Potentials, Lexical Decision and Semantic Priming. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 60, 343-355.
[26] Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I. and Schlesewsky, M. (2008) An Alternative Perspective on “Semantic P600” Effects in Language Comprehension. Brain Research Reviews, 59, 55-73.
[27] Boets, B., Vandermosten, M., Poelmans, H., Luts, H., Wouters, J. and Ghesquière, P. (2011) Preschool Impairments in Auditory Processing and Speech Perception Uniquely Predict Future Reading Problems. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32, 560-570.
[28] Holm, A., Farrier, F. and Dodd, B. (2008) Phonological Awareness, Reading Accuracy and Spelling Ability of Children with Inconsistent Phonological Disorder. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 43, 300-322.
[29] González-Garrido, A.A., Gómez-Velázquez, F.R. and Rodríguez-Santillán, E. (2013) Orthographic Recognition in Late Adolescents: An Assessment through Event-Related Brain Potentials. Clinical EEG & Neuroscience, 45, 113-121.
[30] Wechsler, D. (2003) Escala Wechsler de Inteligen-ciapara Adultos-III. Manual Moderno, Mexico DF, Mexico.
[31] Gómez-Velázquez, F.R., González-Garrido, A.A., Guàrdia-Olmos, J., Peró-Cebollero, M., Zarabozo-Hurtado, D. and Zarabozo, D. (2014) Evaluación del Conocimien-toOrtográfico en AdultosJóvenes y suRelación con la Lectura. Revista Neuropsicología, Neuropsiquiatría y Neurociencias, 14, 40-67.
[32] Simon, G., Petit, L., Bernard, C. and Rebai, M. (2007) N170 ERPs Could Represent a Logo-graphic Processing Strategy in Visual Word Recognition. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 3, 21.
[33] Rossion, B., Joyce, C.A., Cottrell, G.W. and Tarr, M.J. (2003) Early Lateralization and Orientation Tuning for Face, Word, and Object Processing in the Visual Cortex. Neuroimage, 20, 1609-1624.
[34] Pollmann, S., Zaidel, E. and von Cramon, D.Y. (2003) The Neural Basis of the Bilateral Distribution Advantage. Experimental Brain Research, 153, 322-333.
[35] Herdman, A.T. and Takai, O. (2013) Paying Attention to Orthography: A Visual Evoked Potential Study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 199.
[36] Kutas, M. and Federmeier, K.D. (2000) Electrophysiology Reveals Semantic Memory Use in Language Comprehension. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4, 463-470.
[37] Savill, N.J. and Thierry, G. (2011) Reading for Sound with Dyslexia: Evidence for Early Orthographic and Late Phonological Integration Deficits. Brain Research, 1385, 192-205.
[38] Vissers, C.T., Chwilla, D.J. and Kolk, H.H. (2006) Monitoring in Language Perception: The Effect of Misspellings of Words in Highly Constrained Sentences. Brain Research, 1106, 150-163.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.