ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (8): 807-820.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00807

• Reports of Empirical Studies •     Next Articles

N170 adaptation effect of the sub-lexical phonological and semantic processing in Chinese character reading

ZHANG Rui, WANG Zhenhua, WANG Xiaojuan(), YANG Jianfeng()   

  1. School of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an, China, 710062)Key words word reading, N170, Chinese characters, neural adaptation
  • Received:2020-08-07 Published:2021-08-25 Online:2021-06-25
  • Contact: WANG Xiaojuan,YANG Jianfeng;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(31671167);Fundamental Research Funds For the Central Universities(GK202101010);Fundamental Research Funds For the Central Universities(2017TS052)


Event-Related Potential (ERP) studies of visual word recognition have found that N170, an early component, is sensitive to visual words, reflecting the processing of orthography, phonology, and semantics. However, its role in word reading is still controversial. By taking advantage of the Chinese writing system’s ideographic property, the current study used the neural adaptation paradigm to investigate the sensitivity of N170 to Chinese characters’ sublexical phonological and semantic information. Experiment 1 manipulated the phonetic radical and character’s pronunciation repetition of continuous Chinese characters. The results showed that N170 of the left electrode had neural adaptation to phonetic radical and the whole character pronunciation. Experiment 2 further manipulated the semantic radical and character’s meaning repetition. The results showed that the left N170 only had neural adaptation to the character’s meaning, while the right N170 had neural adaptation to both the repetition of the semantic radical and the character’s meaning. The current results suggested that the left N170 was sensitive to the character’s phonological and semantic information and the phonetic radical, whereas the right N170 was sensitive to the character’s meaning and the semantic radical.

Key words: word reading, N170, Chinese characters, neural adaptation