Investigating the mechanisms of written word production: insights from the written blocked cyclic naming paradigm

Bonnie Breining, Brenda Rapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In three experiments, we examined whether similar principles apply to written and spoken production. Using a blocked cyclic written picture naming paradigm, we replicated the semantic interference effects previously reported in spoken production (Experiment 1). Using a written spelling-to-dictation blocked cyclic naming task, we also demonstrated that these interference effects disappear when the task does not require semantically-mediated lexical selection (Experiment 2). Results are parallel to those reported for the analogous spoken production task of reading aloud. Similar results were observed in written spelling to dictation regardless of whether stimuli consisted of words with high or low probability phoneme-to-grapheme correspondences (Experiment 3) revealing the important role of non-semantically-mediated spelling routes in written word production. Overall, our results support the view that similar mechanisms underlie written and spoken production. This includes an incremental learning mechanism underlying semantically-mediated lexical selection that produces long-lived interference effects when multiple semantically similar items are repeatedly named.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-94
Number of pages30
JournalReading and Writing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 15 2019


  • Blocked cyclic naming
  • Lexical selection
  • Semantic interference
  • Spelling to dictation
  • Written production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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