On the functional relationship between language and motor processing in typewriting: an EEG study


  • Scaltritti Michele
  • Pinet Svetlana
  • Longcamp Marieke
  • Alario F-Xavier


  • Language production
  • Motorresponse preparation
  • Eventrelated potentials
  • Semantic priming
  • Typewriting

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The functional relationship between language and motor processing was investigated to elucidate whether it is better described in terms of a discrete or a continuous account of information flow. To this end, we recorded event-related potentials during a typewriting task that combined a semantic priming paradigm with a manipulation of response side (response initiated with right vs. left hand), and focused on the lateralised potentials indexing motor-response activation and inhibition. The critical issue was to assess whether, in the semantically related condition, the increased evidence for the target representation at the conceptual-lexical levels percolates into motor-response preparation, thus triggering an enhanced activation of the corresponding response hand, or whether lexical-semantic and motor-preparation processes unfold independently. Despite effective priming on response times, no selective influence of semantic relatedness was observed on motor-preparation potentials. These results are more compatible with a discrete account.

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