Selective attention and distractor frequency in naming performance: Comment on Dhooge and Hartsuiker (2010)


E. Dhooge and R. J. Hartsuiker (2010) reported experiments showing that picture naming takes longer with low- than high-frequency distractor words, replicating M. Miozzo and A. Caramazza (2003). In addition, they showed that this distractor-frequency effect disappears when distractors are masked or preexposed. These fmdings were taken to refute models like WEAVER-I- -I- (A. Roelofs, 2003) in which words are selected by competition. However. Dhooge and Hartsuiker do not take into account that according to this model, picture-word interference taps not only into word production but also into attentional processes. Here, the authors indicate that WEAVER-I- -I- contains an attentional mechanism that accounts for the distractor-frequency effect (A. Roelofs, 2005). Moreover, the authors demonstrate that the model accounts for the influence of masking and preexposure, and does so in a simpler way than the response exclusion through self-monitoring account advanced by Dhooge and Hartsuiker.

In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37 (4), 1032-1038