Brain Signatures of New ( Pseudo -) Words : Visual Repetition in Associate and Non-associative Contexts
The contribution of two different training contexts to online, gradual lexical acquisition was investigated by event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by new, word-like stimuli. Pseudowords were repeatedly preceded by a picture representing a well-known object (semantic-associative training context) or by a hash mark (non-associative training context). The two training styles revealed differential effects of repetition in both behavioral and ERPs data. Repetition of pseudowords not associated with any stimulus gradually enhanced the late positive component (LPC) as well as speeded lexical categorization of these stimuli, suggesting the formation of episodic memory traces. However, repetition under the semantic-associative context caused higher reduction in N400 component and categorization latencies. This result suggests the facilitation in the lexico-semantic processing of pseudowords as a consequence of their progressive associations to picture-concepts, going beyond the visual memory trace that is generated under the non-associative context.