You are here: Home Publications Electrophysiology of Cross-Language Interference and Facilitation in Picture Naming

Electrophysiology of Cross-Language Interference and Facilitation in Picture Naming

Roelofs, A., Piai, V., Garrido Rodriguez, G., & Chwilla, D. J. (2016). Electrophysiology of Cross-Language Interference and Facilitation in Picture Naming. Cortex, 76, 1-16. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2015.12.003.
Disagreement exists about how bilingual speakers select words, in particular, whether words in another language compete, or competition is restricted to a target language, or no competition occurs. Evidence that competition occurs but is restricted to a target language comes from response time (RT) effects obtained when speakers name pictures in one language while trying to ignore distractor words in another language. Compared to unrelated distractor words, RT is longer when the picture name and distractor are semantically related, but RT is shorter when the distractor is the translation of the name of the picture in the other language. These effects suggest that distractor words from another language do not compete themselves but activate their counterparts in the target language, thereby yielding the semantic interference and translation facilitation effects. Here, we report an event-related brain potential (ERP) study testing the prediction that priming underlies both of these effects. The RTs showed semantic interference and translation facilitation effects. Moreover, the picture-word stimuli yielded an N400 response, whose amplitude was smaller on semantic and translation trials than on unrelated trials, providing evidence that interference and facilitation priming underlie the RT effects. We present the results of computer simulations showing the utility of a within-language competition account of our findings.
About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.

 

Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands


Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213
E-mail:   


Public Outreach Officer
Charlotte Horn