Journal / Book Title
Brain and language
We compared right-handed familial dextral (FS-) and familial sinistral (FS+) participants who were aged either 10-13 years (children) or 18-23 years (adults). In word probe and associative probe tasks, FS+ adults responded faster than all other groups and FS+ children responded more slowly than all other groups. In the word probe task, only the FS- adults showed a significant effect of the serial position of the target word. We interpret these differences to support an analysis-by-synthesis model of comprehension in which individuals who differ in familial handedness and age emphasize different linguistic representations during comprehension. In general, FS+ individuals focus on words and meaning, while FS- individuals focus on syntactic representations. In FS+ individuals, age-related experiences with language produce a shift in responding from compositional meaning to words and their associations. In FS- individuals, age-related experiences with language produce a shift toward responding based more on detailed syntactic representations, including the serial order of words and possibly the structural roles of clauses.
MSU Digital Commons Citation
Townsend, David; Carrithers, Caroline; and Bever, Thomas G., "Familial Handedness and Access to Words, Meaning, and Syntax During Sentence Comprehension" (2001). Department of Psychology Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works. 227.
Townsend, D. J., Carrithers, C., & Bever, T. G. (2001). Familial handedness and access to words, meaning, and syntax during sentence comprehension. Brain and language, 78(3), 308-331.