Kutas Cognitive Electrophysiology Lab
University of California
Cognitive Science Bldg
Univ of Calif, San Diego
(addressee), Kutas Lab
Cognitive Science Dept
9500 Gilman Dr. # 0515
La Jolla CA 92093-0515
Requirements for participation in an English language-based
It appears that the side of your brain that you use for language is
related to handedness. Right handed people use their left sides and
left-handed people can use the right or both sides. Since the
computer averages everyone's data together, it's important that
everyone be right-handed.
Native speaker of English
Your brain becomes optimized to process the language you learn in
the first years of your life. The location of the processing
centers for this language are regular across peoples' brains.
Languages you learn after the age of 5-6 are processed by more
general areas, and these areas differ from person to person. The
areas used by your only language are easier to predict.
- Q: My parents spoke a foreign language at home when I was
little, but I don't speak it now. Is this okay for
particpating in the experiment?
A: You are not eligible if you know the following things
in the foreign language (These examples are in English, but it is their equivalents in the foreign language that we're really
- Inflections (eg "-ed" for English past tense )
- Morphology (eg the difference between "he" and "him" )
- Word order (eg "I gave it him," sounds bad to a native speaker)
- Q: I started learning a foreign language after 6 years of
age, and I'm as fluent in it as English. Can I still
A: If you started before puberty, no.
- Sleepiness - If you are sleepy, your brain waves will be
huge and will mess up the experiment. Please sleep a normal
amount the night before coming in.
- Illness - If you have a cold, or are otherwise in
physical discomfort, this will show up in your brain waves.
Please schedule to come in when you're feeling better.
- Contact lenses - Some contact lense wearers find that
they blink excessively during the experiment. If in doubt, wear
- Hair - Please make sure your hair is clean, dry, and
product-free. If you shower just before coming in, and your
hair is still wet, blow-drying it in the lab will take extra
time. If you are scheduled right before someone else, you may
be asked to return at another time rather than making the next
- Jacket - It can get cold in the testing chamber, so it's
best to bring along a jacket in case you do get cold. In
addition, if you wear sandals you may wish to bring a pair of
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