Interaction between phonological and semantic representations: Time matters

Academic Article


  • Computational modeling and eye-tracking were used to investigate how phonological and semantic information interact to influence the time course of spoken word recognition. We extended our recent models (Chen & Mirman, 2012; Mirman, Britt, & Chen, 2013) to account for new evidence that competition among phonological neighbors influences activation of semantically related concepts during spoken word recognition (Apfelbaum, Blumstein, & McMurray, 2011). The model made a novel prediction: Semantic input modulates the effect of phonological neighbors on target word processing, producing an approximately inverted-U-shaped pattern with a high phonological density advantage at an intermediate level of semantic input-in contrast to the typical disadvantage for high phonological density words in spoken word recognition. This prediction was confirmed with a new analysis of the Apfelbaum et al. data and in a visual world paradigm experiment with preview duration serving as a manipulation of strength of semantic input. These results are consistent with our previous claim that strongly active neighbors produce net inhibitory effects and weakly active neighbors produce net facilitative effects.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Cognitive Science  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Chen Q; Mirman D
  • Start Page

  • 538
  • End Page

  • 558
  • Volume

  • 39
  • Issue

  • 3