Standardized stimuli and procedures for investigating the retrieval of lexical and conceptual knowledge for actions

Mem Cognit. 1997 Jul;25(4):543-69. doi: 10.3758/bf03201129.


We have developed a set of naming and recognition tests for evaluating the retrieval of lexical and conceptual knowledge for actions. As a first step, normative information about 280 items was collected for the following variables: (1) the naming responses elicited by each item, (2) the degree to which the image of each item agreed with a target name, (3) the familiarity to each depicted action, and (4) the visual complexity of each item. This information was used to develop administration and scoring procedures for a standardized test of action naming. The effectiveness and reliability of these procedures were evaluated in a second experiment. In a third experiment, five tests were developed to probe the retrieval of conceptual knowledge: (1) independently of the production of a naming response, (2) in response to pictorial and nonpictorial stimuli, (3) in terms of the attributes associated with specific actions, and (4) in terms of similarities and differences between various actions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Knowledge*
  • Motor Activity*
  • Reaction Time
  • Visual Perception*
  • Vocabulary*