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Working Memory Capacity Affects Semantic Effects Size During Language Production

[Speaker] Fang, Yanhong:1
[Co-author] Yin, Guanhai:1, Zhang, Jijia:2
1:Jinggangshan University (China (People's Republic of China)), 2:Renmin University of China (China (People's Republic of China))

The objective was to explore the role of working memory capacity on semantic effects during language production using a picture-word interference paradigm. Fifty-eight participants were divided into two groups-low and high working memory capacity obtained via the Operation-span task. In two experiment, pictures (e.g., dog) were either named in the context of categorically related distractors (e.g., CAT) or in the context of associatively related distractors (e.g., BONE). Semantic interference was observed in categorical relationship and facilitation in associative relationship. Working memory capacity showed great impact on these effects size, in that categorical interference for low capacity group was larger than that for high capacity group, while associative facilitation for high capacity group was greater than that for low capacity group. These findings suggest that picture naming is not an absolutely automatic process, but a process requiring interference suppression ability, which mainly reflected in the level of working memory capacity.
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