Effects of Accelerated Reading Rate on Syntactic Processing of Hebrew Sentences: Electrophysiological Evidence

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The present study was designed to investigate whether accelerated reading rate influences the way adult readers process sentence components with different grammatical functions. Participants were 20 male native Hebrew-speaking college students aged 18-27 years. The processing of normal word strings was examined during word-by-word reading of sentences having subject-verb-object (SVO) syntactic structure in self-paced and fast-paced conditions. In both reading conditions, the N100 (late positive) and P300 (late negative) event-related potential (ERP) components were sensitive to such internal processes as recognition of words' syntactic functions. However, an accelerated reading rate influenced the way in which readers processed these sentence elements. In the self-paced condition, the predicate-centered (morphologically based) strategy was used, whereas in the fast-paced condition an approach that was more like the word-order strategy was used. This new pattern was correlated with findings on the shortening of latency and the increasing of amplitudes in both N100 and P300 ERP components for most sentence elements. These changes seemed to be related to improved working memory functioning and maximized attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-209
Number of pages17
JournalGenetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2001


  • Adults
  • Brain activity
  • ERP
  • Hebrew
  • Reading rate
  • Syntactic processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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