DeLong, K.A., Urbach, T.P., Groppe, D.M., & Kutas, M., Overlapping dual ERP responses to low cloze probability sentence continuations, Psychophysiology, 2011, pp. 1-5 (early view online version)


In 2005, DeLong, Urbach, and Kutas took advantage of the a/an English indefinite article phonological alternation and the sensitivities of the N400 ERP component to show that readers can neurally preactivate individual words of a sentence (including nouns and their prenominal indefinite articles) in a graded fashion with a likelihood estimated from the words’ offline probabilities as sentence continuations. Here we report an additional finding from that study: a prolonged ERP frontal positivity to less probable noun continuations.We suggest that this positivity is consistent with hypotheses that additional neural processing may be invoked when highly expected continuations are not encountered in the input and speculate briefly on possible functional correlates.


David Groppe

Thomas Urbach

Katherine Delong

Marta Kutas


Cognitive Electrophysiology Lab