Event-related theta power increases in the human EEG during online sentence processing

MCM Bastiaansen, J van Berkum, P. Hagoort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-16
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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