Neurophysiological evidence for the influence of phonological and semantic neighbourhood densities on word production in children and adults.
Thesis DisciplineSpeech and Language Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis aimed to explore the effects of phonological and semantic neighbourhood densities during word production in children. Neighbourhood density refers to the number of words that are related to each other, and its influence on language production has been examined in numerous behavioural studies. By making use of electroencephalography (EEG) and event-related potentials (ERPs) the present experiments approached the effects of phonological and semantic neighbourhood densities from a new angle. The use of ERPs allows the identification of underlying processing differences, revealing thereby associated processing demands. Different children´s groups named pictures varying in phonological and semantic neighbourhood densities while EEG data were collected. The novel findings identify changes of underlying processing costs depending on a word´s neighbourhood density and provide new insights into the impact of word-inherent properties on information retrieval during speech production.