" W" is for bath: Can associative errors be cued?

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    Semantic aphasia (SA) refers to a condition in which the control processes associated with the use of semantic information become compromised. This condition compromises patients' abilities to accurately name pictures, and they produce semantic errors in the form of co-ordinate items, such as " shower" for BATH. Previous research has demonstrated that these patients are sensitive to phonemic cues during picture naming, whether they promote the correct response (e.g., /b/) or the incorrect semantically related response (e.g., /sh/). A similar pattern is observed in normal participants when asked to perform tempo picture naming, in which the timing constraints undermine semantic control processes. SA patients are also known to produce associative errors in picture naming, such as " water" for BATH. In this study, we extended previous work on phonemic cueing in SA patients and in normal participants in two ways: firstly, by using associative miscues to promote associative errors (e.g., /w/), and secondly, to confirm miscueing effects still hold when assessed relative to a neutral condition of an unrelated phoneme rather a simple beep. The results revealed that associative miscues are effective in reducing accuracy and promoting semantic errors in SA patients. Correlations between associative cueing effects and executive tests showed that the impact of associative miscues was more pronounced in those with greater semantic control impairment. Associative miscueing was also seen for normal participants during tempo picture naming, including a latency cost. Both the associative and also the co-ordinate miscueing effects were still apparent when the neutral condition consisted of an unrelated phoneme. The implications of these results for models of speech production and semantic representation are outlined. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)445-465
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Neurolinguistics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


    • Aphasia
    • Cueing
    • CVA
    • Executive control
    • Picture naming
    • Semantic memory
    • Speech production
    • Stroke


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