Francesco Vespignani

Francesco Vespignani
University of Padova | UNIPD · Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialisation

PhD in Cognitive Sciences

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47
Publications
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Publications

Publications (47)
Article
Foreign-accented speech categorizes the speaker as an outgroup individual with a lower linguistic competence and a different knowledge heritage from a native speaker. Here we explore whether the identification of an individual as a native or a foreign speaker has an impact on trivia statement judgments, regardless of her foreign-accented speech. It...
Article
This study aims to shed light on the issue whether familiar allophonic variation is encoded in word representations. Both Italian speakers born in Trentino and speakers born in the Central-Southern regions of Italy took part in the experiment. We tested the MMN elicited by the same word encompassing two different allophones, one of which was more f...
Article
Full-text available
Do novel linguistic labels have privileged access to attentional resources compared to non-linguistic labels? This study explores this possibility through two experiments with a training and an attentional overlap task. Experiment 1 investigates how novel label and object-only stimuli influence resource allocation and disengagement of visual attent...
Article
Deaf individuals who learned a spoken language with the aid of a cochlear implant (CI) often experience difficulties with reading. In the present study, we investigate this issue by assessing the impact of lexical and orthographic predictors on visual word recognition in early and late deaf CI-users. Early deaf CI-users were comparable to age-match...
Preprint
Full-text available
------------------------------- UPDATE: The final version of this work is available at https://www.cambridgescholars.com/product/978-1-5275-7054-2 ------------------------------ The processing of temporal concord anomalies (e.g., Last week/*Tomorrow I bought a car) has been rather understudied compared to the processing of other agreement relations...
Article
Full-text available
In order to memorize sentences we use both processes of language comprehension during encoding and processes of language production during maintenance. While the former processes are easily testable via controlled presentation of the input, the latter are more difficult to assess directly as language production is typically initiated and controlled...
Article
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The present study examined the processing of temporal adverbial phrases such as “last week”, which must agree in temporal features with the verb they modify. We investigated readers’ sensitivity to this feature match or mismatch in two eye-tracking studies. The main aim of this study was to expand the range of concord phenomena which have been inve...
Article
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Background: Whilst there has been extensive study of the mechanisms underlying the regulation for pictures, the ability and the mechanisms beyond the regulation of words remains to be clarified. Similarly, the effect of strategy when applying a regulatory process is still poorly explored. The present study seeks to elucidate these issues comparing...
Article
Questions under Discussion (QUDs) have been suggested to influence the integration of individual utterances into a discourse-level representation. Previous work has shown that processing ungrammatical ellipses is facilitated when the elided material addresses an implicit QUD raised through a nonactuality implicature (NAIs). It is not clear, however...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Whilst there has been extensive study of the mechanisms underlying the effect of regulation for the emotions elicited by pictures, the ability and the mechanisms beyond the regulation of words remains to be clarified. Similarly, the effect of strategy when applying a regulatory process is still poorly explored. The present study seeks t...
Poster
Full-text available
This ERP study aims at investigating the effect of linear distance during the processing of the temporal concord between a deictic temporal adverb and the verb (e.g. Yesterday I went/*will go to the concert). Data show that distance affects the processing of adverb-verb tense violations during later stages of the verb processing. Distal tense misma...
Article
Full-text available
Existing psycholinguistic models typically describe agreement relations as monolithic phenomena amounting to mechanisms that check mere feature consistency. This eye-tracking study aimed at widening this perspective by investigating the time spent reading subject-verb (number, person) and adverb-verb (tense) violations on an inflected verb during s...
Article
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First language (L1) attrition in adulthood offers new insight on neuroplasticity and the role of language experience in shaping neurocognitive responses to language. Attriters are multilinguals for whom advancing L2 proficiency comes at the cost of the L1, as they experience a shift in exposure and dominance (e.g., due to immigration). To date, the...
Data
Appendix S1. An example of data patterns with the original baseline correction (−200 to 0 ms). The N400, frontal positivity, and P600 effects we reported on the verb for Attriters (with a baseline of −200 to 200 ms) were also reliable with this original baseline.
Data
Appendix S2. An illustration of the larger frontal positivity / P3a amplitudes on the verb during the first half of the experiment compared to the second half (for all subjects).
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Studies on linguistic abilities of cochlear implant (CI) users revealed issues in complex syntactic structures rather than lexical, semantic and phonological knowledge (for studies in Italian see Guasti et al., 2012; Caselli et al., 2012). Previous studies on hearing monolinguals and bilinguals showed that ERPs are sensitive to differences in proce...
Article
The goal of the present research was to study the time course of lexical stress encoding in a free-stress language with unpredictable stress. To this aim we measured event-related brain potentials (ERPs) during lexical priming. Participants named pictures bearing either the dominant or non-dominant stress pattern, and preceded by either a congruent...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the extent to which the literal meanings of the words forming literally- plausible idioms (e.g., break the ice) are semantically composed, and how the idiomatic meaning is integrated in the unfolding sentence representation. Participants read ambiguous idiom strings embedded in highly predictable, literal and idiomatic contexts, whi...
Article
Empirical research had initially shown that English listeners are able to identify the speakers' sexual orientation based on voice cues alone. However, the accuracy of this voice-based categorization, as well as its generalizability to other languages (language-dependency) and to non-native speakers (language-specificity), has been questioned recen...
Article
Full-text available
Gender-to-ending consistency has been shown to influence grammatical gender retrieval in isolated word presentation. Notwithstanding the wealth of evidence, the exact role and the time course of processing of this distributional information remain unclear. This ERP study investigated if and when the brain detects gender-to-ending consistency in sen...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Regulating our emotions is an essential ability for successful adaptation and well-being. Previous experiments investigated the ability to regulate emotional pictures but to our knowledge the possibility to regulate emotional words was not studied yet. Language is an import mean to convey emotions. In this experiment we asked subjects to apply an e...
Article
Full-text available
Gender-to-ending consistency has been shown to influence grammatical gender retrieval in isolated word presentation. Notwithstanding the wealth of evidence, the exact role and the time course of processing of this distributional information remain unclear. This ERP study investigated if and when the brain detects gender-to-ending consistency in sen...
Article
Butterworth, Marchesini, and Girelli (2003) showed that children solved multiplications faster when the larger operand was first (e.g., 5 × 2) than when the smaller operand was first (e.g., 2 × 5). This result was interpreted according to the reorganization hypothesis, which states that, as children begin to switch from counting-based strategies (e...
Article
The notion of a critical-period for second-language-learning is controversial; it is unresolved whether maturational constraints on neuroplasticity limit the ]";“native-likeness]";” of neurocognitive mechanisms underlying L2-processing, or whether other factors (e.g. exposure or proficiency) have a greater impact than age-of-acquisition on language...
Article
Full-text available
Collocational complex prepositions (CCPs, e.g., in the hands of) are prefabricated strings of words that play a prepositional role in natural language. Typically, CCPs are formed by a first preposition (P1) followed by a content word (N1) and a second, final preposition (P2) (in the - P1 - hands - N1 - of - P2). Despite their default structure stor...
Article
Intensional verbs like want select for clausal complements expressing propositions, though they can be perfectly natural when combined with a direct object. There are two interesting phenomena associated with intensional transitive expressions. First, it has been suggested that their interpretation requires enriched compositional operations, simila...
Chapter
Full-text available
Idiomatic expressions are highly pervasive in everyday language: as Jackendoff [1] pointed out, in American English there are as many words as there are multi-word expressions (i.e., word strings listed in semantic memory, as proverbs, clichés, idioms, phrasal verbs, etc.), roughly around 80 000 [2]. If, indeed, multi-word expressions are so pervas...
Article
Full-text available
Prediction is pervasive in human cognition and plays a central role in language comprehension. At an electrophysiological level, this cognitive function contributes substantially in determining the amplitude of the N400. In fact, the amplitude of the N400 to words within a sentence has been shown to depend on how predictable those words are: The mo...
Article
The aim of this study was to grade magnetic resonance white matter abnormalities (WMAs) of classical phenylketonuria (cPKU) patients treated from birth and to compare sensitivity and specificity of T2-weighted and diffusion-weighted images (DWI). Twenty early-treated cPKU patients still on a low-phenylalanine diet (12 males; mean age 21.2 years) an...
Article
Full-text available
Cloze-probability levels are inversely correlated with N400 amplitude, indicating an easier integration for expected words in semantic-pragmatic contexts. Here we exploited the prespecified standard order of complex prepositions and measured the ERPs time-locked to the last preposition in sentences in which complex prepositions were presented in th...
Article
A morphosyntactic agreement violation during reading elicits a well-documented biphasic ERP pattern (LAN+P600). The cognitive variables that affect both the amplitude of the two components and the topography of the anterior negativity are still debated. We studied the ERP correlates of the violation of a specific agreement feature based on the phon...
Article
In the present study we analyzed the processing of grammatically anomalous sentences like "The famous dancer were nervously preparing herself/themselves to face the crowd.", which contains two anomalies, one early and one late. We investigated how processing of the later anomaly (at the pronoun 'herself' or 'themselves') was affected by the process...
Chapter
Full-text available
In questo capitolo indagheremo il ruolo dei meccanismi di anticipazione semantica nella comprensione di espressioni i costituenti delle quali sono tipicamente legati fra loro in una sequenza più o meno fissa, cioè le espressioni idiomatiche.1
Article
Full-text available
Two experiments examined the issue of the functional mechanisms exerting a modulatory effect on the latency of the P3. In experiment 1, using a psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm, two sequential stimuli (T(1) and T(2)) were presented in each trial at varying stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs), each requiring a speeded choice response. S...
Article
A reading time and an ERP experiment conducted in Italian investigated the parser's responses to a syntactic violation (subject-verb number agreement) and to a semantic violation (subject-verb selectional restriction), examining the time course of comprehension processes until sentence end. The reading-time data showed that the syntactic violation...
Article
The present experiment investigated cortical responses of native Italian subjects during reading of short sentences including semantic or morphosyntactic violations. Given the specificity of the Italian language in which the sequencing of words is relatively more free than in English or other languages, we investigated whether syntactic and semanti...
Article
Full-text available
It is widely accepted that the meanings and the forms of Multi Word Expressions (MWEs) are stored in the mental lexicon (e.g., [1,2]). To comprehend these over-learned expressions the combination of single words meanings might not be readers' most effective strategy. In the present study we used ambiguous idioms (e.g., land on someone's feet) that...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Our project aims to contribute to the debate about the role of labels in shaping the mental representation of referents at different stages of lexical development. Specifically, the project focuses on both infants (N=30) and adults (N=60; N=50): across a series of experiments we shed light on the online and offline impact of labels of visual attention. By means of the eye-tracking methodology we continuously measure: (i) pupil size variation as an index of attentional effort (ii) saccade latency as an index of disengagement of visual attention. We also offer a window of methodological possibility to get complementary measures as indexes of the interplay between language and attention from a developmental perspective.
Project
Investigating the processing of different concord relations (subject-verb, adverb-verb) and different features (number, person, tense) in sentence comprehension