SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.32 número1Niños socialmente hábiles: ¿Cuánto influyen la empatía y las emociones positivas?Un recorrido por el aprendizaje de la escritura desde una perspectiva evolutivo - educativa y semiótica índice de autoresíndice de materiabúsqueda de artículos
Home Pagelista alfabética de revistas  

Servicios Personalizados




  • No hay articulos citadosCitado por SciELO

Links relacionados

  • No hay articulos similaresSimilares en SciELO



versión On-line ISSN 1668-7027


TABULLO, Angel; YORIO, Alberto; ZANUTTO, Silvano  y  WAINSELBOIM, Alejandro. Transfer of artificial syntax functions among equivalence - related stimuli: An event - related brain potentials study. Interdisciplinaria [online]. 2015, vol.32, n.1, pp.127-150. ISSN 1668-7027.

Stimulus equivalence class formation has been proposed as a behavioral prerequisite for language within the field of experimental analysis of behavior. Additionally, there is evidence that transfer of function among equivalent stimuli may explain acquisition of simple syntactic structures. However these experiments analyzed sequence functions that did not capture the complexity and versatility of natural grammar. If transfer of function between stimuli that belong to the same equivalence classes is indeed a useful model for the development of grammatical structures, then we should be able to verify it in a more valid context for the study of language. Artificial grammar learning tasks have been applied to the study of several aspects of language acquisition, from word segmentation to phrase structure and syntax rules. Furthermore, it has been shown that patterns of brain activity during processing of artificial grammars resemble those observed in language syntax processing. In particular, structural violations of language sentences and artificial grammar sequences both activate Broca's area. Therefore, artificial grammars provide a valid paradigm to study the learning of syntactic functions. The main objectives of the current work were: (1) to analyze transfer of function within equivalence classes in a valid context for the study of syntax acquisition, applying the artificial grammar paradigm and (2) to analyze brain potentials related to the transfer of function in grammatical and ungrammatical sequences. Fifteen subjects were trained to form two three-stimulus equivalence classes and then performed an artificial grammar learning task. One stimulus from each equivalence class was included as an item in the artificial grammar categories. During a test stage, subjects were asked to classify new artificial grammar sequences as grammatical or ungrammatical, while their EEG activity was registered. Half of these new sequences were built using the original training items and the other half contained equivalence-related stimulus. Subjects were assigned to two groups according to their performance in this test stage. Those participants whose percentage of correct responses was above 50 % were considered to pass, while those below were assigned to the fail group. We found behavioral evidence of transfer of function in the pass subgroup. These participants were able to correctly discriminate grammatical from un grammatical sequences that were built using original or equivalence-related stimulus. Event-Related potential Analysis of the EEG signal indicated a posteriorly distributed positivity with a topography and time-course similar to the P600 potential. Within linguistic contexts, P600 is interpreted as the neural correlate of prediction and integration costs during syntax processing. It has been proposed that sentence comprehension depends on predictive mechanisms that combine lexical, semantic and syntactic information from linguistic input to anticipate future words. Processing of incoming stimuli is facilitated by pre- activation, allowing rapid integration to previous context. However, when the input does not match predictions, this integration becomes slower and more difficult, requiring additional neural resources. The P600 has been considered and index of increased integration costs, generated by unfulfilled predictions of word category and morphology based on previous context. In the present experiment, the P600 was observed after: grammar violations with the original artificial grammar lexicon and artificial sequences containing equivalence-related stimulus (both grammatical and ungrammatical). Results showed that artificial grammar processing involved neurobiological mechanisms that are similar to those associated in natural grammar processing. We interpreted the observed P600 pattern in terms of an increased stimulus integration cost, both in the case of grammatical and ungrammatical equivalence-related stimulus. Even though we consider that transference of function and equivalence class formations are by themselves insufficient to explain the complexity of natural grammar, we propose that this processes might be relevant to its acquisition and evolution, constituting a behavioral prerequisite for language development.

Palabras clave : Equivalence classes; Artificial grammar; Syntax; Transfer of function; P600.

        · resumen en Español     · texto en Español     · Español ( pdf )


Creative Commons License Todo el contenido de esta revista, excepto dónde está identificado, está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons