Scientific article
Open access

Functional and time-course changes in single word production from childhood to adulthood

Published inNeuroImage, vol. 111, p. 204-214
Publication date2015

Picture naming tasks are widely used both in children and adults to investigate language production for research and for assessment purposes. The main theoretical models of single word production based on the investigation of picture naming in adults provide a detailed account of the principal mental operations involved in the transformation of an abstract concept into articulated speech and their temporal dynamics. These models and in particular their time-course do not apply directly to children who display much longer production latencies than adults. Here we investigate the functional processes and the temporal dynamics of word encoding in school-age children and adults. ERPs were analysed frompicture onset to the onset of articulation in 32 children and 32 adults performing the same overt picture naming task. Waveform analyses were not informative since differences appeared throughout the entire period, due to an early shift of waveform morphology and to larger amplitudes in children. However, when the sequences of periods of topographic stabilitywere considered, different patterns of electric fields at scalp only appeared in approximately the first third of the analysed period, corresponding to the P1–N1 complex. Fromabout 200 ms in adults and from300 ms in children to articulation onset similar patterns of global topography were observed across groups but with a different time distribution. These results indicate qualitative changes in an early time-window, likely corresponding to pre-linguistic processes, and only quantitative changes in later time-windows, suggesting similar mental operations underlying lexical processes between age-school children and adults, with temporal dynamic changes during development.

  • Development
  • Language
  • Picture naming
  • ERP
Citation (ISO format)
LAGANARO, Marina et al. Functional and time-course changes in single word production from childhood to adulthood. In: NeuroImage, 2015, vol. 111, p. 204–214. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.02.027
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1053-8119

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