Conflict resolution ability underpins the processing of temporary syntactic ambiguity: Evidence from ERPs

Polly O'RourkeUniversity of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language
Gregory ColfleshUniversity of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language

Abstract

The resolution of temporary syntactic ambiguity involves not only the reanalysis of syntactic structure but also the resolution of the conflict between the new correct interpretation and the initial incorrect parse. The current study investigated the contribution of domain-general conflict resolution ability as indexed by performance on an n-back task (with lures) and the online resolution of temporary syntactic ambiguity as indexed by the P600. P600s for temporarily ambiguous sentences were predicted by accuracy for n + 1 lures. No such relationship was found for unambiguous, syntactically complex sentences. These results suggest that domain-general conflict resolution ability underpins the online resolution of temporary syntactic ambiguity.

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Conflict resolution ability underpins the processing of temporary syntactic ambiguity: Evidence from ERPs (189 KB)



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