May 2002: Vol. 14, No.
Teasing Apart Actions and Objects:
A Picture Naming Study
Analía L. Arévalo
Language and Communicative Disorders, SDSU & UCSD
A b s t r a c
The goal of the present study was to examine action and object naming
under varying processing constraints, such as item difficulty and context,
to observe how these different conditions affect naming performance.
Normative data was collected from a group of thirty-eight healthy young
adults as the first in a series of studies investigating the process of
lexical access and its underlying neural substrates. Lead-in sentences
used were either neutral (not predictive) or congruent (predictive of the
particular lexical category, i.e. noun vs. verb). Results indicated that
across subjects as well as items, objects and easy items elicited both
significantly more accurate and faster responses than actions and
difficult items. Congruent contexts facilitated processing compared to
neutral contexts. In addition, these factors differentially affected
objects and actions, with an advantage seen for object naming.
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