The effects on event-related potentials (ERPs) of within- and across-modality repetition of words and nonwords were investigated. In Experiment 1, subjects detected occasional animal names embedded in a series of words. AU items were equally likely to be presented auditorily or visually. Some words were repetitions, either within- or across-modality, of words presented six items previously. Visual-visual repetition evoked a sustained positive shift, which onset around 250 msec and comprised two topographically and temporally distinct components. Auditory-visual repetition modulated only the later of these two components. For auditory EMS, within- and across-modality repetition evoked effects with similar onset latencies. The within-modality effect was initially the larger, but only at posterior sites. In Experiment 2, critical items were auditory and visual nonwords, and target items were auditory words and visual pseudohomophones. Visual-visual nonword repetition effects onset around 450 msec, and demonstrated a more anterior scalp distribution than those evoked by auditory-visual repetition. Visual-auditory repetition evoked only a small, late-onsetting effect, whereas auditory-auditory repetition evoked an effect that, at parietal sites only, was almost equivalent to that from the analogous condition of Experiment 1. These findings indicate that, as indexed by ERF's, repetition effects both within- and across-modality are influenced by lexical status. Possible parallels with the effects of word and nonword repetition on behavioral variables are discussed.

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