Journal of Child Language

Brief Research Report

Perseverant responding in children's picture naming*


a1 University of East London


Two groups of children were given pictures of animals to name as quickly as they could. The groups comprised 40 nursery aged children (mean age 3 ; 11) and 40 Year 2 children (mean age 6 ; 9) attending primary school in London. The 30 animals were presented one by one, on cards, and any errors made by the children were noted. Consistent with a similar object naming study with adults (Vitkovitch, Kirby & Tyrrell, 1996) and a study with children (Gershkoff-Stowe, 2002), picture naming errors referred to earlier named objects. However, while adults showed below-chance interference from objects that had only just been named (Lag 1), children were most susceptible to interference from very recently named objects (see also Gershkoff-Stowe, 2002). Furthermore, the proportion of younger children making Lag 1 errors was higher than the proportion of older children making Lag 1 errors. The results are discussed in relation to the activation levels of lexical representations.

(Received June 09 2006)

(Revised February 09 2007)


c1 Address for correspondence: Melanie Vitkovitch, School of Psychology, University of East London, Romford Road, London, E15 4LZ