Planning sentences while doing other things at the same time: Effects of concurrent verbal and visuospatial working memory load
Number of pages
SourceThe Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70, 4, (2017), pp. 811-831
Article / Letter to editor
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The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 1: Language and Communication; Psycholinguistics
This study investigated to what extent advance planning during sentence production is affected by a concurrent cognitive load. In two picture-word interference experiments in which participants produced subject-verb-object sentences while ignoring auditory distractor words, we assessed advance planning at a phonological (lexeme) and at an abstract-lexical (lemma) level under visuospatial or verbal working memory (WM) load. At the phonological level, subject and object nouns were found to be activated before speech onset with concurrent visuospatial WM load, but only subject nouns were found to be activated with concurrent verbal WM load, indicating a reduced planning scope as a function of type of WM load (Experiment 1). By contrast, at the abstract-lexical level, subject and object nouns were found to be activated regardless of type of concurrent load (Experiment 2). In both experiments, sentence planning had a more detrimental effect on concurrent verbal WM task performance than on concurrent visuospatial WM task performance. Overall, our results suggest that advance planning at the phonological level is more affected by a concurrently performed verbal WM task than advance planning at the abstract-lexical level. Also, they indicate an overlap of resources allocated to phonological planning in speech production and verbal WM.
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