Incremental learning of Chinese orthography: ERP indicators of animated and static stroke displays on character form and meaning acquisition

Li Yun Chang, Joseph Z. Stafura, Ben Rickles, Hsueh Chih Chen, Charles A. Perfetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


We examined the hypothesis that encoding Chinese characters through stroke-by-stroke animation produces orthographic learning that is different from conventional static displays. We used behavioral responses and ERPs to index the incremental learning that occurs of character forms, and the attention allocation to dynamic vs. static encodings. Adult, native English speakers learned form-meaning associations for characters displayed either statically or dynamically while ERPs were recorded. During learning, in both conditions, the P600 component decreased over exposures, indexing incremental and episodic learning of characters. Moreover, dynamic displays, relative to static displays, produced a larger P300, indexing attention-based updating of orthographic representations. Furthermore, the P300 predicted retention for dynamically encoded characters. On a form-meaning judgment task immediately following learning, an incongruity N400 effect was found for only the statically-encoded characters, although behavioral accuracy was similar across conditions. Our findings suggest multiple pathways to orthographic learning that result in trade-offs in learning form and meaning lexical constituents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-95
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Neurolinguistics
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 1



  • Animation
  • Chinese characters
  • ERPs
  • Encoding
  • Learning
  • Reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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