Reduction or enhancement? Repetition effects on early brain potentials during visual word recognition are frequency dependent

Chun Hsien Hsu, Chia Ying Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most studies on word repetition have demonstrated that repeated stimuli yield reductions in brain activity. Despite the well-known repetition reduction effect, some literature reports repetition enhancements in electroencephalogram (EEG) activities. However, although studies of object and face recognition have consistently demonstrated both repetition reduction and enhancement effects, the results of repetition enhancement effects were not consistent in studies of visual word recognition. Therefore, the present study aimed to further investigate the repetition effect on the P200, an early event-related potential (ERP) component that indexes the coactivation of lexical candidates during visual word recognition. To achieve a high signal-to-noise ratio, EEG signals were decomposed into various modes by using the Hilbert–Huang transform. Results demonstrated a repetition enhancement effect on P200 activity in alpha-band oscillation and that lexicality and orthographic neighborhood size would influence the magnitude of the repetition enhancement effect on P200. These findings suggest that alpha activity during visual word recognition might reflect the coactivation of orthographically similar words in the early stages of lexical processing. Meantime, there were repetition reduction effects on ERP activities in theta-delta band oscillation, which might index that the lateral inhibition between lexical candidates would be omitted in repetition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number994903
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
StatePublished - 2023


  • Chinese characters
  • P200
  • alpha-band oscillation
  • orthographic neighborhood size
  • repetition enhancement
  • repetition reduction
  • visual word recognition


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