Event-related theta power increases in the human EEG during online sentence processing
Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Van Berkum, J. J. A., & Hagoort, P.
Event-related theta power increases in the human EEG during online sentence processing. Neuroscience Letters, 323
(1), 13-16. doi:10.1016/S0304-3940(01)02535-6.
By analyzing event-related changes in induced band power in narrow frequency bands of the human electroencephalograph, the present paper explores a possible functional role of the alpha and theta rhythms during the processing of words and of sentences. The results show a phasic power increase in the theta frequency range, together with a phasic power decrease in the alpha frequency range, following the presentation of words in a sentence. These effects may be related to word processing, either lexical or in relation to sentence context. Most importantly, there is a slow and highly frequency-specific increase in theta power as a sentence unfolds, possibly related to the formation of an episodic memory trace, or to incremental verbal working memory load.