Dr. Skott Freedman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology recently published an article in the Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology entitled "Children's naming as a function of neighborhood density".
The majority of previous studies examining the role of neighborhood density (ND) during children’s naming have limited analyses to the semantic level (i.e., whether or not a word was correctly retrieved). In order to investigate potential effects on articulation, the present investigation explored the influence of ND on preschool children’s naming accuracy using both semantic and phonological analyses.
Thirty-seven typically developing children participated in a picture naming task consisting of 30 stimuli differing in ND (low, high). Results indicated that words with more semantic neighbors facilitated naming, such that lexical-semantic representations were more accurately retrieved than those with fewer neighbours. A similar facilitative effect was found at the phonological level; words with high phonological ND were articulated with greater levels of accuracy than those with low phonological ND. Findings are interpreted in the context of lexical facilitation.