Jacobsen, T., Horváth, J., Schröger, E., Lattner, S., Widmann, A., & Winkler, I. (2004). Pre-attentive auditory processing of lexicality. Brain and Language, 88(1), 54.

Pre-attentive auditory processing of lexicality

The effects of lexicality on auditory change detection based on auditory sensory memory representations were investigated by presenting oddball sequences of repeatedly presented stimuli, while participants ignored the auditory stimuli. In a cross-linguistic study of Hungarian and German participants, stimulus sequences were composed of words that were language-familiar, lexical, meaningful in Hungarian but language-unfamiliar, not lexical, meaningless in German, and words with the opposite characteristics. The roles of frequently presented stimuli (Standards) and infrequently presented one (Deviants) were fully crossed. Language-familiar and language-unfamiliar Deviants elicited the Mismatch Negativity component of the event-related brain potential. We found differences in processes of change detection depending on whether the Standard was language-familiar, or not. Whereas, the lexicality of the Deviant had no effect on the processes of change detection. Also, language-familiar Standards processed differently than language-unfamiliar ones. We suggest that pre-attentive (default) tuning to meaningful words sets up language-specific preparatory processes that affect change detection in speech sequences. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.


Cognitive and Biological Psychology

University of Leipzig
Faculty of Life Sciences
Institute of Psychology
Neumarkt 9-19
D-04109 Leipzig


Dagmar Schrödl
Phone: +49 341 97-39570
Email: dagmar dot schroedl at uni-leipzig dot de

Fax: +49 341 97-39271