Research Topic

Accessing conceptual representations for speaking.

About this Research Topic

For speaking, words in the lexicon are somehow activated from conceptual representations but we know surprisingly little about how this works precisely. Which of the attributes of the concept DOG (e.g. BARKS, IS WALKED WITH A LEASH, CARNIVORE, ANIMATE) have to be activated in a given situation to be able to ...

For speaking, words in the lexicon are somehow activated from conceptual representations but we know surprisingly little about how this works precisely. Which of the attributes of the concept DOG (e.g. BARKS, IS WALKED WITH A LEASH, CARNIVORE, ANIMATE) have to be activated in a given situation to be able to select the word ‘dog’? Are there things we know about dogs that are always activated for naming and others that are only activated in certain contexts or even never? To date, investigations on lexical access in speaking have largely focused on the effects of distractor nouns on the naming latency of a target noun. We have learned that distractors from the same semantic category (e.g. ‘cat’) hinder naming, but associatively related distractors (‘leash’) may facilitate or hinder naming. However, associatively related words can have all kinds of semantic relationships to a target word, and, with few exceptions, the effects of specific semantic relationships other than membership in the same category as the target concept have not been systematically investigated. This Research Topic aims at moving forward towards a more detailed account of how precisely conceptual information is used to access the lexicon in speaking and what corresponding format of conceptual representations needs to be assumed. We would like researchers to contribute (i) behavioral or neurocognitive work on how the (pre-)activation of different kinds of conceptual properties of a target concept (e.g. its color, its parts, its typical location, etc.) affects naming, (ii) work on the time course of the activation of different kinds of conceptual properties of a target concept in naming, (iii) work on how context influences the activation of conceptual properties of a target concept in speaking or (iv) other types of work on the nature of the conceptual representation underlying speaking. We also welcome the submission of review articles.


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