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Sentence Processing in Proficient Adult CI UsersLeft: "Time waveform of a sentence", figure from ERCD licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0; Right: "Cochleaimplantat" figure from Seslami~commonswiki ("") licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Sentence Processing in Proficient Adult CI Users

Comprehending language via a cochlear implant poses a remarkable challenge to the brain. We investigated auditory sentence comprehension in a group of high proficient adult cochlear implant patients using event-related brain potentials. Four types of sentences were examined: correct sentences with either high (1) or low (2) expectancy of the sentence final word (cloze probability), semantically incorrect sentences (3), and sentences violating the argument structure of the verb (4). Participants judged the acceptability of the sentences. Relative to correct sentences with a high cloze probability all other conditions elicited a N400 effect in both the patient group and a matched control group, although the timing of the effect differed between the two groups. Moreover, whereas the argument structure violation elicited a late positivity in addition to the N400 effect in the control group, no such effect was observable in the cochlear implant group. We take these data to indicate that under adverse input conditions, processes of syntactic repair reflected in the P600 effect, are much more vulnerable than processes of semantic integration reflected in N400 effects.


Difference waves of the event-related potentials (the correct high cloze probability condition is subtracted from the other conditions, respectively) for the four experimental condition for the matched control group and the cochlear implant group. Figure from Author's original manuscript.




Anja Hahne