Alan Garnham
University of Sussex
We recorded Event-Related Potentials to investigate differences in the use of gender information during the processing of reflexive pronouns. Pronouns either matched the gender provided by role nouns (such as “king” or “engineer”) or did not. We compared two types of gender information, definitional information, which is semantic in nature (a mother is female), or stereotypical (a nurse is likely to be female). When they followed definitional role-nouns, gender-mismatching pronouns elicited a P600 effect reflecting a failure in the agreement process. When instead the gender violation occurred after stereotypical role-nouns the Event Related Potential response was biphasic, being positive in parietal electrodes and negative in anterior left electrodes. The use of a correlational approach showed that those participants with more “feminine” or “expressive” self sex-role descriptions showed a P600 response for stereotype violations, suggesting that they experienced the mismatch as an agreement violation; whereas less “expressive” participants showed an Nref effect, indicating more effort spent in linking the pronouns with the possible, although less likely, counter-stereotypical referent.
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DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01953
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Towards a Neural Basis of Auditory Sentence Processing.Angela D. Friederici - 2002 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 6 (2):78-84.
Lectures on Government and Binding. The Pisa Lectures.Noam Chomsky - 1986 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 51 (1):238-240.

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