Stroke order knowledge is critical for Chinese reading and spelling acquisition. Previous studies have demonstrated enhancements of the N2 and P3 event-related potential (ERP) components at the Pz electrode to stroke order violations of Chinese characters in younger adults. However, it remained unclear whether similar ERP responses could be found in children. The current study investigated the ERP responses to stroke order violations of Chinese characters in children and examined the associations of the ERP responses with children’s Chinese reading and spelling performance. A total of 26 Grade 2 Hong Kong Chinese children observed stroke-by-stroke displays of Chinese characters and judged whether the Chinese characters were written in the correct order. The ERP results showed larger anterior N2 and posterior P3 at the midline electrodes to the incorrect strokes than to the correct strokes. In addition, a smaller right lateralized temporal N2 response to the incorrect strokes was found in poor spellers as compared with good spellers of Chinese. The effect of the right lateralized temporal N2 response on reading performance was fully mediated through spelling ability. These results demonstrated increases in the anterior N2 and posterior P3 responses to stroke order violation of Chinese characters in second graders and suggest the right lateralized N2 response as a potential neural marker of Chinese literacy development in children.
- Stroke Order