Processing of task-irrelevant words of different frequency values: A visual mismatch negativity study

Dawei Wei*, Margaret Gillon Dowens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined electrophysiological correlates of early and automatic word access. Chinese single-character words of high frequency and low frequency were peripherally presented in an oddball paradigm. Participants were instructed to carry out a centrally presented nonlinguistic colour-tracking task and ignore the lexical stimuli presented on both sides. Early visual mismatch negativity (vMMN) effects at 120-150 and 200-300 ms were elicited only by high-frequency characters, whereas low-frequency characters yielded vMMN only after 300 ms. This contrast of vMMN effects indicating lexical processing in an attention-deprived condition is suggested to result from stronger memory traces for high-frequency characters in comparison with low-frequency characters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-388
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

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