Neural correlates of spoken word production in semantic and phonological blocked cyclic naming.

Man Wang* (Corresponding Author), Zeshu Shao, Yiya Chen, Neils O. Schiller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


The blocked cyclic naming paradigm has been increasingly employed to investigate the mechanisms underlying spoken word production. Semantic homogeneity typically elicits longer naming latencies than heterogeneity; however, it is debated whether competitive lexical selection or incremental learning underlies this effect. The current study manipulated both semantic and phonological homogeneity and used behavioural and electrophysiological measurements to provide evidence that can distinguish between the two accounts. Results show that naming latencies are longer in semantically homogeneous blocks, but shorter in phonologically homogeneous blocks, relative to heterogeneity. The semantic factor significantly modulates electrophysiological waveforms from 200 ms and the phonological factor from 350 ms after picture presentation. A positive component was demonstrated in both manipulations, possibly reflecting a task-related top-down bias in performing blocked cyclic naming. These results provide novel insights into the neural correlates of blocked cyclic naming and further contribute to the understanding of spoken word production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-586
Number of pages12
JournalLanguage cognition and neuroscience
Issue number5
Early online date1 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgement: We thank Frank Mertz for help with the Matlab script. We thank Elly Dutton for proofreading this manuscript.

Funding: This work was supported by grants from “Talent & Training China-Netherlands” programme.


  • blocked cyclic naming
  • language production
  • EEG
  • semantics
  • phonology


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