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Poster E20, Saturday, August 18, 3:00 – 4:45 pm, Room 2000AB

The Role of left Fusiform gyrus in Chinese character recognition: an ERP study using Adaptation Paradigm

Rui Zhang1, Shujuan Liu1, Xiangyang Zhang1, Jianfeng Yang1;1Shaanxi Normal University

The function of the left Fusiform gyrus is still under controversy that it might be engaged in the orthographic, phonological and semantic processing in visual word recognition. The logographic property of the Chinese characters provides a unique opportunity to address this issue. The current ERP study conducted two experiments to examine the role of the left Fusiform gyrus in Chinese character recognition. Using an adaptation paradigm, the neural adaptation of N170 were examined by manipulating the orthographic, phonological and semantic similarity in a sequence of four continuous presented characters. The Experiment 1 asked participants to perform a phonological detection task after passive viewing four successive characters those shared the orthography (O, pronounced differently with a same phonetic radical), phonology (P, pronounced same without overlapped radicals), and orthography-to-phonology mapping (O-P, pronounced same with a same phonetic radical). The result showed a similar pattern for the bilateral N170 effect that O and O-P similarity evoked a larger N170 adaptation than P similarity, and the difference between O and O-P did not reach significance. It suggested that the left fusiform gyrus was more sensitive to orthographic processing than to phonological processing. Experiment 2 further asked participants to perform a phonological detection task on four successive characters those shared the orthography (O, unrelated meanings with a same semantic radical), semantics (S, related meanings with different semantic radicals), and orthography-to-semantic mapping (O-S, related meanings with a same semantic radical). The result observed a bilateral difference for the N170 amplitude. In the left hemisphere, the PO7 electron showed a larger adaptation effect for S and O-S than for O similarity indicating a regularity effect of the semantic processing on the left fusiform gyrus. On the contrast, the PO8 electron showed a similar adaptation effect for O and S similarity, but a larger adaptation effect for O-S similarity suggesting a regularity effect of the O-S processing on the right fusiform gyrus. In sum, the current study revealed that the left fusiform gyrus was more sensitive to the orthographic and semantic processing than to the phonological processing in Chinese character recognition.

Topic Area: Perception: Orthographic and Other Visual Processes

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