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Unconscious effects of grammatical gender during object categorisation

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Unconscious effects of grammatical gender during object categorisation. / Boutonnet, Bastien; Athanasopoulos, Panos; Thierry, Guillaume.

In: Brain Research, Vol. 1479, 15.10.2012, p. 72-79.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

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Boutonnet B, Athanasopoulos P, Thierry G. Unconscious effects of grammatical gender during object categorisation. Brain Research. 2012 Oct 15;1479:72-79. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2012.08.044

Author

Boutonnet, Bastien ; Athanasopoulos, Panos ; Thierry, Guillaume. / Unconscious effects of grammatical gender during object categorisation. In: Brain Research. 2012 ; Vol. 1479. pp. 72-79.

Bibtex

@article{8818224fd8f54e3989f6a8749c8a221e,
title = "Unconscious effects of grammatical gender during object categorisation",
abstract = "Does language modulate perception and categorisation of everyday objects? Here, we approach this question from the perspective of grammatical gender in bilinguals. We tested Spanish–English bilinguals and control native speakers of English in a semantic categorisation task on triplets of pictures in an all-in-English context while measuring event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Participants were asked to press a button when the third picture of a triplet belonged to the same semantic category as the first two, and another button when it belonged to a different category. Unbeknownst to them, in half of the trials, the gender of the third picture name in Spanish had the same gender as that of the first two, and the opposite gender in the other half. We found no priming in behavioural results of either semantic relatedness or gender consistency. In contrast, ERPs revealed not only the expected semantic priming effect in both groups, but also a negative modulation by gender inconsistency in Spanish–English bilinguals, exclusively. These results provide evidence for spontaneous and unconscious access to grammatical gender in participants functioning in a context requiring no access to such information, thereby providing support for linguistic relativity effects in the grammatical domain.",
keywords = "Linguistic relativity, Syntactic gender , Event-related brain potentials , Left anterior negativity , Object categorisation",
author = "Bastien Boutonnet and Panos Athanasopoulos and Guillaume Thierry",
year = "2012",
month = oct,
day = "15",
doi = "10.1016/j.brainres.2012.08.044",
language = "English",
volume = "1479",
pages = "72--79",
journal = "Brain Research",
issn = "0006-8993",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Unconscious effects of grammatical gender during object categorisation

AU - Boutonnet, Bastien

AU - Athanasopoulos, Panos

AU - Thierry, Guillaume

PY - 2012/10/15

Y1 - 2012/10/15

N2 - Does language modulate perception and categorisation of everyday objects? Here, we approach this question from the perspective of grammatical gender in bilinguals. We tested Spanish–English bilinguals and control native speakers of English in a semantic categorisation task on triplets of pictures in an all-in-English context while measuring event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Participants were asked to press a button when the third picture of a triplet belonged to the same semantic category as the first two, and another button when it belonged to a different category. Unbeknownst to them, in half of the trials, the gender of the third picture name in Spanish had the same gender as that of the first two, and the opposite gender in the other half. We found no priming in behavioural results of either semantic relatedness or gender consistency. In contrast, ERPs revealed not only the expected semantic priming effect in both groups, but also a negative modulation by gender inconsistency in Spanish–English bilinguals, exclusively. These results provide evidence for spontaneous and unconscious access to grammatical gender in participants functioning in a context requiring no access to such information, thereby providing support for linguistic relativity effects in the grammatical domain.

AB - Does language modulate perception and categorisation of everyday objects? Here, we approach this question from the perspective of grammatical gender in bilinguals. We tested Spanish–English bilinguals and control native speakers of English in a semantic categorisation task on triplets of pictures in an all-in-English context while measuring event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Participants were asked to press a button when the third picture of a triplet belonged to the same semantic category as the first two, and another button when it belonged to a different category. Unbeknownst to them, in half of the trials, the gender of the third picture name in Spanish had the same gender as that of the first two, and the opposite gender in the other half. We found no priming in behavioural results of either semantic relatedness or gender consistency. In contrast, ERPs revealed not only the expected semantic priming effect in both groups, but also a negative modulation by gender inconsistency in Spanish–English bilinguals, exclusively. These results provide evidence for spontaneous and unconscious access to grammatical gender in participants functioning in a context requiring no access to such information, thereby providing support for linguistic relativity effects in the grammatical domain.

KW - Linguistic relativity

KW - Syntactic gender

KW - Event-related brain potentials

KW - Left anterior negativity

KW - Object categorisation

U2 - 10.1016/j.brainres.2012.08.044

DO - 10.1016/j.brainres.2012.08.044

M3 - Journal article

VL - 1479

SP - 72

EP - 79

JO - Brain Research

JF - Brain Research

SN - 0006-8993

ER -