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author:("Guo, tomei")
1.  The Effects of Gender and Self-Insight on Early Semantic Processing 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e114421.
This event-related potential (ERP) study explored individual differences associated with gender and level of self-insight in early semantic processing. Forty-eight Chinese native speakers completed a semantic judgment task with three different categories of words: abstract neutral words (e.g., logic, effect), concrete neutral words (e.g., teapot, table), and emotion words (e.g., despair, guilt). They then assessed their levels of self-insight. Results showed that women engaged in greater processing than did men. Gender differences also manifested in the relationship between level of self-insight and word processing. For women, level of self-insight was associated with level of semantic activation for emotion words and abstract neutral words, but not for concrete neutral words. For men, level of self-insight was related to processing speed, particularly in response to abstract and concrete neutral words. These findings provide electrophysiological evidence for the effects of gender and self-insight on semantic processing and highlight the need to take into consideration subject variables in related research.
PMCID: PMC4278724  PMID: 25545394
2.  The structure-sensitivity of memory access: evidence from Mandarin Chinese 
Frontiers in Psychology  2014;5:1025.
The present study examined the processing of the Mandarin Chinese long-distance reflexive ziji to evaluate the role that syntactic structure plays in the memory retrieval operations that support sentence comprehension. Using the multiple-response speed-accuracy tradeoff (MR-SAT) paradigm, we measured the speed with which comprehenders retrieve an antecedent for ziji. Our experimental materials contrasted sentences where ziji's antecedent was in the local clause with sentences where ziji's antecedent was in a distant clause. Time course results from MR-SAT suggest that ziji dependencies with syntactically distant antecedents are slower to process than syntactically local dependencies. To aid in interpreting the SAT data, we present a formal model of the antecedent retrieval process, and derive quantitative predictions about the time course of antecedent retrieval. The modeling results support the Local Search hypothesis: during syntactic retrieval, comprehenders initially limit memory search to the local syntactic domain. We argue that Local Search hypothesis has important implications for theories of locality effects in sentence comprehension. In particular, our results suggest that not all locality effects may be reduced to the effects of temporal decay and retrieval interference.
PMCID: PMC4174137  PMID: 25309486
working memory; reflexive processing; speed-accuracy trade-off; Mandarin Chinese; sentence processing
3.  On the Time Course of Accessing Meaning in a Second Language: An Electrophysiological and Behavioral Investigation of Translation Recognition 
In 2 experiments, relatively proficient Chinese–English bilinguals decided whether Chinese words were the correct translations of English words. Critical trials were those on which incorrect translations were related in lexical form or meaning to the correct translation. In Experiment 1, behavioral interference was revealed for both distractor types, but event-related potentials (ERPs) revealed a different time course for the 2 conditions. Semantic distractors elicited effects primarily on the N400 and late positive component (LPC), with a smaller N400 and a smaller LPC over the posterior scalp but a larger LPC over the anterior scalp relative to unrelated controls. In contrast, translation form distractors elicited a larger P200 and a larger LPC than did unrelated controls. To determine whether the translation form effects were enabled by the relatively long, 750-ms stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between words, a 2nd ERP experiment was conducted using a shorter, 300-ms, SOA. The behavioral results revealed interference for both types of distractors, but the ERPs again revealed different loci for the 2 effects. Taken together, the data suggest that proficient bilinguals activate 1st-language translations of words in the 2nd language after they have accessed the meaning of those words. The implications of this pattern for claims about the nature of cross-language activation when bilinguals read in 1 or both languages are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3925769  PMID: 22686844
bilingualism; lexicon; translation; electrophysiology; ERPs
4.  When bilinguals choose a single word to speak: Electrophysiological evidence for inhibition of the native language 
Journal of memory and language  2012;67(1):10.1016/j.jml.2012.05.001.
Behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures are reported for a study in which relatively proficient Chinese-English bilinguals named identical pictures in each of their two languages. Production occurred only in Chinese (the first language, L1) or only in English (the second language, L2) in a given block with the order counterbalanced across participants. The repetition of pictures across blocks was expected to produce facilitation in the form of faster responses and more positive ERPs. However, we hypothesized that if both languages are activated when naming one language alone, there might be evidence of inhibition of the stronger L1 to enable naming in the weaker L2. Behavioral data revealed the dominance of Chinese relative to English, with overall faster and more accurate naming performance in L1 than L2. However, reaction times for naming in L1 after naming in L2 showed no repetition advantage and the ERP data showed greater negativity when pictures were named in L1 following L2. This greater negativity for repeated items suggests the presence of inhibition rather than facilitation alone. Critically, the asymmetric negativity associated with the L1 when it followed the L2 endured beyond the immediate switch of language, implying long-lasting inhibition of the L1. In contrast, when L2 naming followed L1, both behavioral and ERP evidence produced a facilitatory pattern, consistent with repetition priming. Taken together, the results support a model of bilingual lexical production in which candidates in both languages compete for selection, with inhibition of the more dominant L1 when planning speech in the less dominant L2. We discuss the implications for modeling the scope and time course of inhibitory processes.
PMCID: PMC3820915  PMID: 24222718
lexical selection; language production; inhibition; bilingualism
5.  Local and global inhibition in bilingual word production: fMRI evidence from Chinese-English bilinguals 
NeuroImage  2011;56(4):2300-2309.
The current study examined the neural correlates associated with local and global inhibitory processes used by bilinguals to resolve interference between competing responses. Two groups of participants completed both blocked and mixed picture naming tasks while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). One group first named a set of pictures in L1, and then named the same pictures in L2. The other group first named pictures in L2, and then in L1. After the blocked naming tasks, both groups performed a mixed language naming task (i.e., naming pictures in either language according to a cue). The comparison between the blocked and mixed naming tasks, collapsed across groups, was defined as the local switching effect, while the comparison between blocked naming in each language was defined as the global switching effect. Distinct patterns of neural activation were found for local inhibition as compared to global inhibition in bilingual word production. Specifically, the results suggest that the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the supplementary motor area (SMA) play important roles in local inhibition, while the dorsal left frontal gyrus and parietal cortex are important for global inhibition.
PMCID: PMC3741343  PMID: 21440072
local inhibition; global inhibition; bilingualism; word production; fMRI
6.  Emotional States Modulate the Recognition Potential during Word Processing 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47083.
This study examined emotional modulation of word processing, showing that the recognition potential (RP), an ERP index of word recognition, could be modulated by different emotional states. In the experiment, participants were instructed to compete with pseudo-competitors, and via manipulation of the outcome of this competition, they were situated in neutral, highly positive, slightly positive, highly negative or slightly negative emotional states. They were subsequently asked to judge whether the referent of a word following a series of meaningless character segmentations was an animal or not. The emotional induction task and the word recognition task were alternated. Results showed that 1) compared with the neutral emotion condition, the peak latency of the RP under different emotional states was earlier and its mean amplitude was smaller, 2) there was no significant difference between RPs elicited under positive and negative emotional states in either the mean amplitude or latency, and 3) the RP was not affected by different degrees of positive emotional states. However, compared to slightly negative emotional states, the mean amplitude of the RP was smaller and its latency was shorter in highly negative emotional states over the left hemisphere but not over the right hemisphere. The results suggest that emotional states influence word processing.
PMCID: PMC3466240  PMID: 23056588
7.  The Influence of Cross-Language Similarity on within- and between-Language Stroop Effects in Trilinguals 
This study investigated effects of cross-language similarity on within- and between-language Stroop interference and facilitation in three groups of trilinguals. Trilinguals were either proficient in three languages that use the same-script (alphabetic in German–English–Dutch trilinguals), two similar scripts and one different script (Chinese and alphabetic scripts in Chinese–English–Malay trilinguals), or three completely different scripts (Arabic, Chinese, and alphabetic in Uyghur–Chinese–English trilinguals). The results revealed a similar magnitude of within-language Stroop interference for the three groups, whereas between-language interference was modulated by cross-language similarity. For the same-script trilinguals, the within- and between-language interference was similar, whereas the between-language Stroop interference was reduced for trilinguals with languages written in different scripts. The magnitude of within-language Stroop facilitation was similar across the three groups of trilinguals, but smaller than within-language Stroop interference. Between-language Stroop facilitation was also modulated by cross-language similarity such that these effects became negative for trilinguals with languages written in different scripts. The overall pattern of Stroop interference and facilitation effects can be explained in terms of diverging and converging color and word information across languages.
PMCID: PMC3238052  PMID: 22180749
trilinguals; Stroop; interference; facilitation; script
8.  Language selection in bilingual speech: Evidence for inhibitory processes 
Acta psychologica  2008;128(3):416-430.
Although bilinguals rarely make random errors of language when they speak, research on spoken production provides compelling evidence to suggest that both languages are active when only one language is spoken (e.g., Poulisse, 1999). Moreover, the parallel activation of the two languages appears to characterize the planning of speech for highly proficient bilinguals as well as second language learners. In this paper we first review the evidence for cross-language activity during single word production and then consider the two major alternative models of how the intended language is eventually selected. According to language-specific selection models, both languages may be active but bilinguals develop the ability to selectively attend to candidates in the intended language. The alternative model, that candidates from both languages compete for selection, requires that cross-language activity be modulated to allow selection to occur. On the latter view, the selection mechanism may require that candidates in the non-target language be inhibited. We consider the evidence for such an inhibitory mechanism in a series of recent behavioral and neuroimaging studies.
PMCID: PMC2585366  PMID: 18358449

Results 1-8 (8)