Comprehension skill and word-to-text integration processes
|ABILITY; CHILDREN; COMPONENTS; DIFFICULTIES; FIELDS; INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES; INFERENCES; Psychology; Psychology, Experimental; READING-COMPREHENSION; WORKING-MEMORY
|JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD
|APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
We examine comprehension skill differences in the processes of word-to-text integration, the connection of the meaning of a word, as it is read, to a representation of the text. We review two `on-line' integration studies using event related potentials (ERPs) to provide fine-grain temporal data on the word-to-text processes of adult readers. The studies demonstrate indicators for word-to-text integration and show differences in these indicators as a function of adult reading comprehension skill. For skilled comprehenders, integration processes were reflected in N400 indicators when a critical word had an explicit link to a word in the prior text and by both N400 and P300 indicators when its meaning was a paraphrase of a prior word. When forward inferences were required for subsequent word-to-text integration, effects for skilled comprehenders were not reliable. Less skilled comprehenders showed delayed and less robust ERP effects, especially when meaning paraphrase was the basis of the integration. We discuss the significance of skill differences in integration processes with a focus on the use of context-dependent word meaning as a possible source of these differences. Copyright (c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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