“What you encode is not necessarily what you store”: Evidence for sparse feature representations from mismatch negativity

The present study examines whether vowels embedded in complex stimuli may possess underspecified representations in the mental lexicon. A second goal was to assess the possible interference of the lexical status of stimuli under study. Minimal pairs of German nouns differing only in the stressed vowels [e], [ø], [o], and derived pseudowords, were used to measure the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) in a passive oddball-paradigm. The differing vowels were chosen such that the place of articulation information was conflicting vs. non-conflicting in the framework of models assuming underspecified representations in the mental lexicon (i.e. minimizing featural information by omitting redundant information in order to ensure efficient speech processing), whereas models assuming fully specified phonological representations would predict equal levels of conflict in all possible contrasts. The observed pattern of MMN amplitude differences was in accordance to predictions of models assuming underspecified phonological representations. As the possible interferences by other levels of linguistic processing was demonstrated, it seems favourable to use pseudowords for investigating phonological effects by means of MMN.

from Brain Research

About Callier Library

Housed at the internationally renowned Callier Center for Communication Disorders, Callier Library a branch facility of the McDermott Library at The University of Texas at Dallas.

Posted on April 14, 2011, in Research and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: