Attentional demands of lexical access were assessed with dual-task methodology. Subjects performed an auditory probe task alone (single-task) or combined (dual-task) with either a lexical decision or a naming task. In Experiment 1, probe performance showed a decrement from single to dual-task conditions during recognition of words in both lexical decision and naming tasks. In addition, decrements in probe performance were larger during processing of low-frequency compared with high-frequency words in both of the word recognition tasks. Experiment 2 showed that the time course of frequency-sensitive demands was similar across lexical decision and naming tasks and that attention is required early in the word recognition sequence. The results support the assumption that lexical access is both frequency sensitive and attention demanding.