The Electrophysiology of Language Comprehension: A Neurocomputational Model

Harm Brouwer

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    1402 Downloads (Pure)


    One decade ago, researchers using event-related brain potential (ERP)
    measurements stumbled upon what looked like a Semantic Illusion in language
    comprehension: Semantically anomalous, but otherwise well-formed sentences
    did not affect the meaning-related N400 component, but instead increased the
    amplitude of the structure-related P600 component. This finding spawned five
    new models of language comprehension, all of which claim that instead of
    a single comprehension process, there are two or even more separate
    processing streams, one of which is not driven by structure, but by word
    meaning alone. In this thesis, I argue that there is a much simpler way to
    account for these data, and present evidence from neurocomputional
    simulations showing that this alternative explanation is able to predict all
    relevant ERP patterns found in the literature.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Hoeks, John, Supervisor
    • Nerbonne, John, Supervisor
    Award date26-Jun-2014
    Place of Publication[S.l.]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-6892-4
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-6893-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Cite this