A perfusion fMRI investigation of thematic and categorical context effects in the spoken production of object names

Greig De Zubicaray*, Kori Johnson, David Howard, Katie McMahon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The context in which objects are presented influences the speed at which they are named. We employed the blocked cyclic naming paradigm and perfusion functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the mechanisms responsible for interference effects reported for thematicallyand categorically related compared to unrelated contexts. Naming objects in categorically homogeneous contexts induced a significant interference effect that accumulated from the second cycle onwards. This interference effect was associated with significant perfusion signal decreases in left middle and posterior lateral temporal cortex and the hippocampus. By contrast, thematically homogeneous contexts facilitated naming latencies significantly in the first cycle and did not differ from heterogeneous contexts thereafter, nor were they associated with any perfusion signal changes compared to heterogeneous contexts. These results are interpreted as being consistent with an account in which the interference effect both originates and has its locus at the lexical level, with an incremental learning mechanism adapting the activation levels of target lexical representations following access. We discuss the implications of these findings for accounts that assume thematic relations can be active lexical competitors or assume mandatory involvement of top-down control mechanisms in interference effects during naming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-149
Number of pages15
JournalCortex
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Lexical selection
  • Object naming
  • Semantic interference
  • Spoken word production

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