Electrophysiological evidence that inhibition supports lexical selection in picture naming
Shao, Z., Roelofs, A., Acheson, D. J., & Meyer, A. S.
Electrophysiological evidence that inhibition supports lexical selection in picture naming. Brain Research, 1586
, 130-142. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2014.07.009.
We investigated the neural basis of inhibitory control during lexical selection. Participants
overtly named pictures while response times (RTs) and event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were
recorded. The difficulty of lexical selection was manipulated by using object and action pictures with
high name agreement (few response candidates) versus low name agreement (many response
candidates). To assess the involvement of inhibition, we conducted delta plot analyses of naming RTs
and examined the N2 component of the ERP. We found longer mean naming RTs and a larger N2
amplitude in the low relative to the high name agreement condition. For action naming we found a
negative correlation between the slopes of the slowest delta segment and the difference in N2
amplitude between the low and high name agreement conditions. The converging behavioral and
electrophysiological evidence suggests that selective inhibition is engaged to reduce competition
during lexical selection in picture naming.