Electroencephalographic responses to SMS shortcuts

Lesya Y. Ganushchak, Andrea Krott, Antje S. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


As the popularity of sending messages electronically increases, so does the necessity of conveying messages more efficiently. One way of increasing efficiency is to abbreviate words and expressions by combining letters with numbers such as gr8 for "great," using acronyms, such as lol for "laughing out loud," or clippings such as msg for "message." The present study compares the processing of shortcuts to the processing of closely matched pseudo-shortcuts. ERPs were recorded while participants were performing a lexical decision task. Response times showed that shortcuts were categorized more slowly as nonwords than pseudo-shortcuts. The ERP results showed no differences between shortcuts and pseudo-shortcuts at time windows 50-150 ms and 150-270 ms, but there were significant differences between 270 and 500 ms. These results suggest that at early stages of word recognition, the orthographic and phonological processing is similar for shortcuts and pseudo-shortcuts. However, at the time of lexical access, shortcuts diverge from pseudo-shortcuts, suggesting that shortcuts activate stored lexical representations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) grant (no. 446-07-027) to L. Y. Ganushchak.


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