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Poster A40, Wednesday, November 8, 10:30 – 11:45 am, Harborview and Loch Raven Ballrooms

Lexical access in inferential naming

Raphael Fargier1, Giulia Krethlow1, Eric Ménétré1, Marina Laganaro1;1Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

The neural dynamics of speech planning processes have been mainly investigated with picture naming. Although it has been useful to test various properties of language production, it might not be the best option to study semantic retrieval since early processes of conceptual preparation are constrained by visual properties of objects. In a recent study, we sought to shed a light on this issue by comparing the dynamics of neural processes underlying referential (picture) naming and inferential naming (naming from definition). We revealed that word-form encoding was underpinned by similar neural processes in both tasks but that early lexical-semantic processes were different (Fargier & Laganaro, 2017). Inferential naming thus offers promising perspectives to study language production and lexical-semantic retrieval but the underlying neural processes need to be further detailed. In the present study, we used a psycholinguistic variable that has been taken to reflect the onset of lexical selection in picture naming: lexical frequency. Strijkers et al. (2010) notably reported lexical frequency effects on the P2 component arising around 200 ms after picture onset on posterior sites. Here, high-density electroencephalograms (EEG) were recorded while participants overtly produced low-frequency vs. high-frequency words in response to oral definitions. A significant effect was found on production latencies with faster responses for high-frequency words (823 ms) compared to low-frequency words (856 ms). Significant modulations of waveform amplitudes were observed on stimulus-aligned epochs, around 300 ms, on centro-posterior and anterior sites. These effects corresponded to a right posterior positivity. No effects were found on response-aligned epochs. These results confirm our previous observation of lexical frequency effects around 300 ms in naming from written definitions (Fargier & Laganaro, 2017) although they were found when lexical frequency was used as a continuous variable and definitions were presented visually. Our results thus suggest that lexical selection is engaged around 300 ms in inferential naming, which is later than what is observed in picture naming. This favors the idea that inferential naming requires deeper managing of the semantic network to extract the correct name, which is probably mediated by integration processes that not necessary in referential naming. References Fargier R, Laganaro M. 2017. Spatio-temporal Dynamics of Referential and Inferential Naming: Different Brain and Cognitive Operations to Lexical Selection. Brain Topogr. 30:182–197. Strijkers K, Costa A, Thierry G. 2010. Tracking lexical access in speech production: electrophysiological correlates of word frequency and cognate effects. Cereb Cortex N Y N 1991. 20:912–928.

Topic Area: Meaning: Lexical Semantics

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