The current study examined the relationship between verbal memory span and the latency with which a filler-gap dependency is constructed. A previous behavioral study found that low span listeners did not exhibit antecedent reactivation at gap sites in relative clauses, in comparison to high verbal memory span subjects (Roberts et al. in J Psycholinguist Res 36(2):175-188, 2007), which suggests that low span subjects are delayed at gap filling. This possibility was examined in the current study. Using an event-related potentials paradigm, it was found that low span subjects have an onset latency delay of about 200 ms in brain responses to violations of syntactic expectancies after the gap site, thus providing a time course measure of the delay hypothesized by previous literature.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Linguistics and Language