Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Cognitive.




Successful performance on verbal fluency tasks is dependent upon systematic search and retrieval from the lexicon and the semantic organization of memory stores. Previous research has established that analyzing patterns of word retrieval on verbal fluency tasks can provide useful information regarding the underlying semantic component but few studies have examined the contribution of semantics in the letter fluency task. The purpose of this study was to explore the contribution of semantics in verbal fluency performance of healthy young participants under a language-based view of semantics. Thirty-eight participants were asked to generate as many words as possible according to letter, initial phoneme, and semantic category cues. The data were analyzed using a novel computational model of semantics based on the co-occurrence of words in large samples of text. Semantic relatedness, as quantified by the average semantic weight of the words generated, was not correlated with word production but did vary as a function of time spent on the task. Overall, the results indicate that this is a promising approach to studying the contribution of semantics to lexical retrieval in a widely used neuropsychological test.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2005 .B535. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 44-03, page: 1519. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2005.