The locus of the frequency effect in picture naming

When recognizing is not enough

Jorge Almeida*, Mark Knobel, Matthew Finkbeiner, Alfonso Caramazza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)


The lexical frequency effect in picture naming is generally assumed to constitute a signature of lexical access. Lexical frequency, however, is correlated with other variables, like concept familiarity, that can produce effects similar to those of lexical frequency in picture naming tasks. In this study, a delayed picture naming task was employed to address the hypothesis that the frequency effect in picture naming is due to variables that affect processing in the perceptual and semantic identification stages (i.e., input stages). Despite the fact that all the input processing stages were completed prior to the presentation of the naming cue, a strong frequency effect was still obtained in this task. These results establish that the lexical frequency effect is independent of variables affecting the input stages of picture naming, and, hence, confirm the lexical frequency effect as a signature effect of lexical access.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1182
Number of pages6
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

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