Naming from definition: The role of feature type and feature distinctiveness

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The present paper evaluates the contribution of feature type and feature distinctiveness to naming of living and nonliving things using a naming from definition task. Normal subjects read verbal descriptions containing features varying in type (i.e., sensory vs. functional) and distinctiveness (i.e., distinct vs. shared) and were asked to name the concept described and to select the three features that most contributed to their answer. Main results showed that sensory features were selected more often than functional features to support naming living things and that, independent of feature type, more distinct features were selected to support naming more often than shared features. Results are discussed considering the implications for understanding naming and for neuropsychological evaluation.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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