The use of the picture-word interference paradigm to examine naming abilities in aphasic individuals

Naomi Hashimoto*, Cynthia K. Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Although naming deficits are well documented in aphasia, on-line measures of naming processes have been little investigated. The use of on-line measures may offer further insight into the nature of aphasic naming deficits that would otherwise be difficult to interpret when using off-line measures. Aims: The temporal activation of semantic and phonological processes was tracked in older normal control and aphasic individuals using a picture-word interference paradigm. The purpose of the study was to examine how word interference results can augment and/or corroborate standard language testing in the aphasic group, as well as to examine temporal patterns of activation in the aphasic group when compared to a normal control group. Methods & Procedures: A total of 20 older normal individuals and 11 aphasic individuals participated. Detailed measures of each aphasic individual's language and naming skills were obtained. A visual picture-word interference paradigm was used in which the words bore either a semantic, phonological, or no relationship to 25 pictures. These competitor words were presented at stimulus onset asynchronies of 2300ms, +300ms, and 0 ms. Outcomes & Results: Analyses of naming RTs in both groups revealed significant early semantic interference effects, mid-semantic interference effects, and mid-phonological facilitation effects. A matched control-aphasic group comparison revealed no differences in the temporal activation of effects during the course of naming. Partial support for this RT pattern was found in the aphasic naming error pattern. The aphasic group also demonstrated greater SIEs and PFEs compared to the matched control group, which indicated disruptions of the phonological processing stage. Analyses of behavioural performances of the aphasic group corroborated this finding. Conclusions: The aphasic naming RTs results were unexpected given the results from the priming literature, which has supported the idea of slowed or reduced patterns of activation in aphasic individuals. However, analyses of naming RTs also confirmed the behavioural finding of a disruption surrounding phonological processes; thus, the analyses of naming latencies offers another potential means of pinpointing breakdowns of lexical access in individuals with aphasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-611
Number of pages32
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2010


  • Aphasia
  • Naming
  • Picture-word interference paradigm
  • Spoken word production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • LPN and LVN

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