ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (7): 1112-1121.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.01112

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EEG Time-Frequency Analysis of Syntactic and Semantic Processing in Sentence Comprehension

CAI Lin;ZHANG Yaxu   

  1. (1 Department of Psychology, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China) (2 Key Laboratory of Machine Perception (Peking University), Ministry of Education, Beijing 100871, China)
  • Received:2013-12-16 Online:2014-07-15 Published:2014-07-15
  • Contact: ZHANG Yaxu


As an electrophysiological technique, electroencephalograph (EEG) time-frequency analysis can reveal event-related oscillatory activities by measuring power changes for different frequency bands at each electrode. In the area of sentence processing, using this technique, a large number of recent studies have associated syntactic and semantic processes with power changes at different bands (θ, a, b, or γ). In addition, different types of syntactic (e.g., grammatical gender or number) and semantic processing (semantic integration or prediction) have been linked to oscillatory activities at different bands. Future studies should examine not only oscillatory activities underlying other types of syntactic processing such as tense and word order processing, which haven’t been investigated so far, but also oscillatory activities involved in the interaction between syntactic and semantic processes. Moreover, further studies should use a variety of methods for analyzing EEG power changes, in a variety of languages, in order to test whether EEG power changes to syntactic and semantic processes are modulated by methodological and linguistic variation.

Key words: EEG time-frequency analysis, event-related power changes, sentence comprehension, syntactic processing, semantic processing