What causes the effect of age of acquisition in lexical processing?
Menenti, L., & Burani, C.
What causes the effect of age of acquisition in lexical processing? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60
(5), 652-660. doi:10.1080/17470210601100126.
Three hypotheses for effects of age of acquisition (AoA) in lexical processing are compared: the cumulative frequency hypothesis (frequency and AoA both influence the number of encounters with a word, which influences processing speed), the semantic hypothesis (early-acquired words are processed faster because they are more central in the semantic network), and the neural network model (early-acquired words are faster because they are acquired when a network has maximum plasticity). In a regression study of lexical decision (LD) and semantic categorization (SC) in Italian and Dutch, contrary to the cumulative frequency hypothesis, AoA coefficients were larger than frequency coefficients, and, contrary to the semantic hypothesis, the effect of AoA was not larger in SC than in LD. The neural network model was supported.