Effects of visual complexity and sublexical information in the occipitotemporal cortex in the reading of Chinese phonograms

a single-trial analysis with MEG

Chun-Hsien Hsu, Chia-Ying Lee, Alec Marantz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We employ a linear mixed-effects model to estimate the effects of visual form and the linguistic properties of Chinese characters on M100 and M170 MEG responses from single-trial data of Chinese and English speakers in a Chinese lexical decision task. Cortically constrained minimum-norm estimation is used to compute the activation of M100 and M170 responses in functionally defined regions of interest. Both Chinese and English participants' M100 responses tend to increase in response to characters with a high numbers of strokes. English participants' M170 responses show a posterior distribution and only reflect the effect of the visual complexity of characters. On the other hand, the Chinese participants' left hemisphere M170 is increased when reading characters with high number of strokes, and their right hemisphere M170 is increased when reading characters with small combinability of semantic radicals. Our results suggest that expertise with words and the decomposition of word forms underlies processing in the left and right occipitotemporal regions in the reading of Chinese characters by Chinese speakers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBrain and Language
Volume117
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011

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Reading
Stroke
Linguistics
Semantics
stroke
Occipito-temporal Cortex
activation
expertise
semantics
linguistics
Chinese Characters

Keywords

  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Linguistics
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Reaction Time
  • Reading
  • Visual Perception

Cite this

Effects of visual complexity and sublexical information in the occipitotemporal cortex in the reading of Chinese phonograms : a single-trial analysis with MEG. / Hsu, Chun-Hsien; Lee, Chia-Ying; Marantz, Alec.

In: Brain and Language, Vol. 117, No. 1, 04.2011, p. 1-11.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "We employ a linear mixed-effects model to estimate the effects of visual form and the linguistic properties of Chinese characters on M100 and M170 MEG responses from single-trial data of Chinese and English speakers in a Chinese lexical decision task. Cortically constrained minimum-norm estimation is used to compute the activation of M100 and M170 responses in functionally defined regions of interest. Both Chinese and English participants' M100 responses tend to increase in response to characters with a high numbers of strokes. English participants' M170 responses show a posterior distribution and only reflect the effect of the visual complexity of characters. On the other hand, the Chinese participants' left hemisphere M170 is increased when reading characters with high number of strokes, and their right hemisphere M170 is increased when reading characters with small combinability of semantic radicals. Our results suggest that expertise with words and the decomposition of word forms underlies processing in the left and right occipitotemporal regions in the reading of Chinese characters by Chinese speakers.",
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N2 - We employ a linear mixed-effects model to estimate the effects of visual form and the linguistic properties of Chinese characters on M100 and M170 MEG responses from single-trial data of Chinese and English speakers in a Chinese lexical decision task. Cortically constrained minimum-norm estimation is used to compute the activation of M100 and M170 responses in functionally defined regions of interest. Both Chinese and English participants' M100 responses tend to increase in response to characters with a high numbers of strokes. English participants' M170 responses show a posterior distribution and only reflect the effect of the visual complexity of characters. On the other hand, the Chinese participants' left hemisphere M170 is increased when reading characters with high number of strokes, and their right hemisphere M170 is increased when reading characters with small combinability of semantic radicals. Our results suggest that expertise with words and the decomposition of word forms underlies processing in the left and right occipitotemporal regions in the reading of Chinese characters by Chinese speakers.

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