Semantic priming occurs for word but not location pronunciation in the postcue task
Semantic priming refers to the finding that a word response is facilitated if it is preceded by a related word compared to when it is preceded by an unrelated word. Dallas and Merikle (Can J Psychol 30: 15-21 1976a; Bull Psychon Soc 8: 441-444 1976b) demonstrated that semantic priming occurred under conditions in which a pair of simultaneously displayed words was previewed for over a second prior to the onset of a cue indicating which of the words should be pronounced aloud (postcue task). In contrast, semantic interference effects have been reported for postcue picture-naming tasks (Dean et al. in J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 27: 733-743, 2001; Humphreys et al. in J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 21: 961-980, 1995). According to Dean et al., the semantic interference effects in postcue picture naming occur because the integration of the object and the cued attribute in memory is more difficult for categorically related pictures than for unrelated pictures. The aim of this experiment was to determine whether this idea was true for postcue word pronunciation tasks. Participants completed two postcue tasks, one requiring pronunciation of the target word indicated by a locational cue and another requiring pronunciation of the location of a centrally presented word. Results indicated a semantic priming effect only for the locational cue condition suggesting that the integration of the cue and identity information was unaffected by word context. These data suggest that priming in a postcue word pronunciation task may be due to feedback from residual activation within the semantic system facilitating access to the target word's phonology.
Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified