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The locus of semantic priming in RSVP target search

, : The locus of semantic priming in RSVP target search. Memory & Cognition 33(2): 241-248

At what stage does semantic priming affect accuracy in target search? In two experiments, participants viewed two streams of stimuli, each including a target word among distractors. Stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) between the targets (T1 and T2) ranged from 53 to 213 msec. A word semantically related to one or neither of the targets preceded each trial. In Experiment 1, participants were instructed to report both targets. Although more primed than unprimed targets were reported, there was no cost for unprimed words. A strong interaction between SOA and T1 versus T2 was found, but priming did not interact with either variable. In Experiment 2, only related targets were reported. Performance was similar to that for primed targets in Experiment 1. Semantic priming does not seem to modulate how attentional resources are initially allocated between targets, but instead affects a later stage of processing, the point at which a target word reaches lexical identification.


PMID: 16028579

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