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Cogn Neuropsychol. 2010 Jul;27(5):401-27. doi: 10.1080/02643294.2011.570325.

Density pervades: an analysis of phonological neighbourhood density effects in aphasic speakers with different types of naming impairment.

Author information

1
Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, Elkins Park, PA 19027, USA. middleer@einstein.edu

Abstract

We investigated the influence of phonological neighbourhood density (PND) on the performance of aphasic speakers whose naming impairments differentially implicate phonological or semantic stages of lexical access. A word comes from a dense phonological neighbourhood if many words sound like it. Limited evidence suggests that higher density facilitates naming in aphasic speakers, as it does in healthy speakers. Using well-controlled stimuli, Experiment 1 confirmed the influence of PND on accuracy and phonological error rates in two aphasic speakers with phonological processing deficits. In Experiments 2 and 3, we extended the investigation to an aphasic speaker who is prone to semantic errors, indicating a semantic deficit and/or a deficit in the mapping from semantics to words. This individual had higher accuracy, and fewer semantic errors, in naming targets from high- than from low-density neighbourhoods. It is argued that the Results provide strong support for interactive approaches to lexical access, where reverberatory feedback between word- and phoneme-level lexical representations not only facilitates phonological level processes but also privileges the selection of a target word over its semantic competitors.

PMID:
21718214
PMCID:
PMC3132149
DOI:
10.1080/02643294.2011.570325
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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