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Trouble Articulating the Right Words: Evidence for a Response-Exclusion Account of Distraction During Semantic Fluency
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, UK.
School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, UK.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7584-2275
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2017 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 58, no 5, 367-372 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is widely held that single-word lexical access is a competitive process, a view based largely on the observation that naming a picture is slowed in the presence of a distractor-word. However, problematic for this view is that a low-frequency distractor-word slows the naming of a picture more than does a high-frequency word. This supports an alternative, response-exclusion, account in which a distractor-word interferes because it must be excluded from an articulatory output buffer before the right word can be articulated (the picture name): A high, compared to low, frequency word accesses the buffer more quickly and, as such, can also be excluded more quickly. Here we studied the respective roles of competition and response-exclusion for the first time in the context of semantic verbal fluency, a setting requiring the accessing of, and production of, multiple words from long-term memory in response to a single semantic cue. We show that disruption to semantic fluency by a sequence of to-be-ignored spoken distractors is also greater when those distractors are low in frequency, thereby extending the explanatory compass of the response-exclusion account to a multiple-word production setting and casting further doubt on the lexical-selection-by-competition view. The results can be understood as reflecting the contribution of speech output processes to semantic fluency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 58, no 5, 367-372 p.
Keyword [en]
Semantic verbal fluency, distraction, distractor frequency effect, lexical-selection-by-competition, response-exclusion account
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-24590DOI: 10.1111/sjop.12386PubMedID: 28833228Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85027729989OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-24590DiVA: diva2:1116913
Available from: 2017-06-28 Created: 2017-06-28 Last updated: 2017-10-04Bibliographically approved

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