Age of acquisition effects on an object-name verification task

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  • University of Kent


Naming latencies for words, objects and faces have been shown to be affected by the age at which an item is acquired (AoA). Originally, this effect was explained in terms of differential access to name representations. However, a number of recent studies have found AoA effects in tasks which do not require access to names (e.g. Brysbaert, Van Wijnendaele, & De Deynes, 2000; Lewis, 1999; Moore, Smith Spark, & Valentine, 2004; Moore & Valentine, 1999). Ellis and Lambon Ralph (2000) propose an alternative account of AoA, predicting that the effect should arise in any task where previously stored information is retrieved. The current study explored the effect of AoA on an object-name verification task. Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrated that early acquired objects were verified significantly faster than later acquired objects. A third experiment collected naming latencies for the same picture stimuli in order to allow a comparison of the magnitude of the AoA effect for object verification and naming. The implications of these findings for accounts of AoA and its locus of effect are discussed.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2006