Negative Priming from Masked Words: Retrospective Prime Clarification or Center-Surround Inhibition?

  • Kahan T
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Masked repetition and semantic priming effects were examined in 2 experiments. In Experiment 1, a masked-prime lexical decision task followed a phase of detection, semantic, or repetition judgments about masked words. In Experiment 2 participants made speeded pronunciations to target words after they tried to identify masked primes, and the proportion of semantically and identically related prime-target pairs was varied. Center-surround theory (T. H. Carr & D. Dagenbach, 1990; D. Dagenbach, T. H. Carr, & A. Wilhelmsen, 1989) predicts positive repetition priming but negative semantic priming when people attempt, but fail, to extract the meanings of masked words. A retrospective prime-clarification account, in contrast, predicts that semantic and repetition priming effects will vary (being positive or negative) as a function of expectations about the prime-target relation. The data support a retrospective prime-clarification account, which, unlike center-surround theory, correctly predicted negative repetition priming effects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

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  • Todd A. Kahan

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