Tracking the time course of lexical access in orthographic production: An event-related potential study of word frequency effects in written picture naming

Qingqing Qu*, Qingfang Zhang, Markus F. Damian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
341 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Previous studies of spoken picture naming using event-related potentials (ERPs) have shown that speakers initiate lexical access within 200 ms after stimulus onset. In the present study, we investigated the time course of lexical access in written, rather than spoken, word production. Chinese participants wrote target object names which varied in word frequency, and written naming times and ERPs were measured. Writing latencies exhibited a classical frequency effect (faster responses for high- than for low-frequency names). More importantly, ERP results revealed that electrophysiological activity elicited by high- and low frequency target names started to diverge as early as 168 ms post picture onset. We conclude that lexical access during written word production is initiated within 200 ms after picture onset. This estimate is compatible with previous studies on spoken production which likewise showed a rapid onset of lexical access (i.e., within 200 ms after stimuli onset). We suggest that written and spoken word production share the lexicalization stage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-126
Number of pages9
JournalBrain and Language
Volume159
Early online date6 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

Structured keywords

  • Language
  • Cognitive Science

Keywords

  • Time course
  • Lexical access
  • Written word production
  • Written picture naming
  • Word frequency
  • ERPs

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