Zed Sehyr’s research seminar

Zed Sevcikova Sehyr
Laboratory for Language and Cognitive Neuroscience, San Diego State University

Hemispheric lateralization of early ERP components in deaf and hearing individuals
Left-hemisphere lateralization for words develops before right-hemisphere lateralization for faces, and hemispheric specialization for faces may be contingent on prior lateralization for words (Dundas, Plaut & Behrmann, 2014). Congenitally deaf individuals who are native users of American Sign Language have distinct developmental experiences with both words and faces (e.g., the face conveys linguistic information in ASL). Early neurophysiological studies suggested greater right hemisphere involvement in word reading (Neville et al., 1984) and greater left hemisphere involvement for face recognition (McCullough et al., 2005) for deaf individuals. In this talk, I will report some preliminary findings from an ERP study, focusing on the following questions: is hemispheric organization for word and face processing uniquely shaped by sign language experience and/or deafness, does the lateralization of early visual ERP components (P1 and N170) differ for deaf and hearing readers and are the effects modulated by English vocabulary knowledge. This work provides important insights into the temporal dynamics of word and face recognition and the mechanisms that give rise to lateralization patterns in populations with unique linguistic and developmental experiences.