Facilitation and interference in the color-naming task
Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the phonological activation of the name of pictures when participants had to name the color in which these pictures were depicted. In Experiment 1, participants named the color of pictures whose names and color names shared the phonological beginning (phonologically related condition), the color of pictures whose names and color names did not share phonology (phonologically unrelated condition), and the color of abstract forms (neutral condition). A facilitatory effect was obtained, so participants were faster in the related condition than in the unrelated condition. However, naming latencies were similar in the neutral condition and the unrelated condition. In Experiment 2, the unrelated condition was replaced by a phonologically incongruent condition in which the name of the picture was phonologically unrelated to its color name but related to the name of other response color names. The results showed again a facilitatory effect when the related condition was compared with the incongruent condition. Importantly, an interference effect was also observed, so naming latencies were longer in the incongruent condition than in the neutral condition. These results are discussed in terms of language production models.