Investigating reading comprehension through EEG

Luciane Baretta, Lêda Maria Braga Tomitch, Vanessa Kwan Lim, Karen E. Waldie




Experimental studies point that different factors can influence reading comprehension, such as the topic, text type, reading task, and others. The advances in technologies for the past decades have provided researchers with several possibilities to investigate what goes on in one’s brain since their eyes meet the page until comprehension is achieved. Since the mid-80’s, numerous studies have been conducted with the use of the electroencephalogram (EEG) to investigate the process of reading, through the analysis of different components – n400, n100 or n1, P2, among others. These components reveal, for example, how the brain integrates the meaning of a specific word in the semantic context of a given sentence.  based on previous studies, which demonstrate that different types of words affect cognitive load, this paper aims at investigating how the brain processes function and content words inserted in expository and narrative texts with suitable / unsuitable conclusions. results showed that the type of text and word influence the cognitive load in different scalp areas (midline, right and left hemispheres). The  n1s were more pronounced to the content words inserted in narrative texts and to the function words inserted in the expository type of texts, corroborating former studies.


Copyright (c) 2012 Luciane Baretta, Lêda Maria Braga Tomitch, Vanessa Kwan Lim, Karen E. Waldie

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