Time course analysis of the effects of distractor frequency and categorical relatedness in picture naming: An evaluation of the response exclusion account

Peter A. Starreveld, Wido La Heij, Rinus Verdonschot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


The response exclusion account (REA), advanced by Mahon and colleagues, localises the distractor frequency effect and the semantic interference effect in picture naming at the level of the response output buffer. We derive four predictions from the REA: (1) the size of the distractor frequency effect should be identical to the frequency effect obtained when distractor words are read aloud, (2) the distractor frequency effect should not change in size when stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA) is manipulated, (3) the interference effect induced by a distractor word (as measured from a nonword control distractor) should increase in size with increasing SOA, and (4) the word frequency effect and the semantic interference effect should be additive. The results of the picture-naming task in Experiment 1 and the word-reading task in Experiment 2 refute all four predictions. We discuss a tentative account of the findings obtained within a traditional selection-by-competition model in which both context effects are localised at the level of lexical selection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-654
Number of pages22
JournalLanguage and Cognitive Processes
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun
Externally publishedYes



  • Categorical relatedness
  • Distractor frequency effect
  • Lexical selection by competition
  • Picture-word task
  • Semantic interference effect
  • Word production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education

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