Searching for the right word: Performance on four word-retrieval tasks across childhood

Gitit Kavé, Dorit Kukulansky-Segal, Ayelet Avraham, Orly Herzberg, Janna Landa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Word retrieval was assessed in 207 normally developing Hebrew-speaking children aged 8-17 through four tasks: picture naming, phonemic fluency, semantic fluency, and homophone meaning generation (HMGT). Scores on all tests correlated positively and significantly with participant age. Yet, age effects and the correlation between age and test scores were weakest for the naming test and strongest for the HMGT. We discuss the nature of the word search involved in each task and suggest that the more executive demands required by a test the steeper the slope of performance increase on this test.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-563
Number of pages15
JournalChild Neuropsychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partially supported by grant # 3000003639 from the Chief Scientist Office of the Israeli Ministry of Health, Israel, as well as by research fund # 46310 from the Open University of Israel. We wish to thank Suzy Bracha, Odelya Chiprot, Nilly Degany, Inbar Morag, Hadas Nagar-Turgeman, Adi Shaked, Shani Waidergorean, and Rivka Ziv for their help in data collection and preparation. There are no financial or other relationships that could be interpreted as a conflict of interests.


  • Executive lexical search
  • Language
  • Naming
  • Verbal fluency
  • Word retrieval


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