Friday, March 24, 2023, 3:00 pm MDT  ESB 1-33 or via Zoom

Cumulative semantic interference in young children: Effects of picture naming on lexical access

Dr. Monique Charest, Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Alberta

In this talk, I will discuss research aimed at understanding how word production experiences influence children’s lexical processing. When speakers engage in a meaning-based word production activity (e.g., picture naming), they become successively slower or less accurate with each new response from within a semantic category. This effect is known as cumulative semantic interference. It occurs even when related responses are separated by unrelated responses, and is interpreted as a manifestation of relatively durable changes in the lexical system in the context of shared activation and lexical competition. Even though the speakers’ performance is declining (i.e., response times are lengthening), the slowing is evidence of a production system that undergoes continual change as a result of language experience. Work in this area has been largely focused on adults, but its methods and interpretative frameworks have the potential to open up new understanding of the dynamics of experience-dependent change in children's representation and processing of words. In this talk, I will discuss studies examining these effects in children and their relationship to age and language ability.

For those who prefer to join us virtually, the Powerpoint slides and the audio will be streamed over Zoom:

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 931 6466 0134
Passcode: 506185