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Semantic interference in immediate and delayed naming and reading: Attention and task decisions


Piai,  Vitória
International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society, Nijmegen, NL;
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands;
Radboud University Nijmegen, Cognition and Behaviour, Center for Cognition;

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Piai, V., Roelofs, A., & Schriefers, H. (2011). Semantic interference in immediate and delayed naming and reading: Attention and task decisions. Journal of Memory and Language, 64, 404-423. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2011.01.004.

Disagreement exists about whether lexical selection in word production is a competitive process. Competition predicts semanticinterference from distractor words in immediate but not in delayed picture naming. In contrast, Janssen, Schirm, Mahon, and Caramazza (2008) obtained semanticinterference in delayed picture naming when participants had to decide between picture naming and oral reading depending on the distractor word’s colour. We report three experiments that examined the role of such taskdecisions. In a single-task situation requiring picture naming only (Experiment 1), we obtained semanticinterference in immediate but not in delayednaming. In a task-decision situation (Experiments 2 and 3), no semantic effects were obtained in immediate and delayed picture naming and word reading using either the materials of Experiment 1 or the materials of Janssen et al. (2008). We present an attentional account in which taskdecisions may hide or reveal semanticinterference from lexical competition depending on the amount of parallelism between task-decision and picture–word processing.