Response Dominance Predicts Garden-Path Comprehension: An ERP Study


While the P600 is generally presumed to be a uniform response elicited consistently across individuals in specific syntactic contexts, Tanner and Van Hell (2014) showed evidence of distinct response profiles (N400 or P600 dominant) for syntactic violations across individuals. The current analysis used Tanner and Van Hell’s response-dominance index (RDI) to examine the impact of response dominance on comprehension of garden-path sentences. P600 dominant individuals showed enhanced comprehension of garden-path sentences, even when controlling for working memory capacity. Response dominance as an individual difference measure has the potential to enhance understanding of the neurocognitive basis of sentence processing and greater cognition in general.

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