Testing the integration of identity and location information in a postcue word pronunciation 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 (1976a,b) 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, Bub & Masson, 2001; Humphreys et al., 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 if this idea were 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 is unaffected by word context. An alternative framework is proposed to account for the effects observed in postcue tasks.
Combined Abstracts of 2008 Australian Psychology Conferences Australian Journal of Psychology