The dark side of incremental learning: A model of cumulative semantic interference during lexical access in speech production

Gary M. Oppenheim, Gary S. Dell, Myrna F. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Naming a picture of a dog primes the subsequent naming of a picture of a dog (repetition priming) and interferes with the subsequent naming of a picture of a cat (semantic interference). Behavioral studies suggest that these effects derive from persistent changes in the way that words are activated and selected for production, and some have claimed that the findings are only understandable by positing a competitive mechanism for lexical selection. We present a simple model of lexical retrieval in speech production that applies error-driven learning to its lexical activation network. This model naturally produces repetition priming and semantic interference effects. It predicts the major findings from several published experiments, demonstrating that these effects may arise from incremental learning. Furthermore, analysis of the model suggests that competition during lexical selection is not necessary for semantic interference if the learning process is itself competitive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-252
Number of pages26
JournalCognition
Volume114
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2010

Keywords

  • Competitive lexical selection
  • Cumulative semantic interference
  • Incremental learning
  • Lexical access
  • Neural network model
  • Speech production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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