Effects of Meaning-Based Relationships and Goal-Driven Processing on Semantic Priming in Ocular Response Tasks Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Hoedemaker, Renske
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Semantic priming is very robust in tasks involving the recognition of words in isolation, such as lexical decision tasks, but is quite limited during text reading. In five experiments, we evaluated the role of meaning-based relationships and the mechanisms of priming across two different ocular response tasks. Across word recognition (Experiments 1 and 3) and Lexical Decision tasks (LDT, Experiment 2), associative relationships emerged as the strongest predictor of priming, and the magnitude of the priming effect was not affected by specific semantic relationships. Distributional analyses showed that the effect of priming was concentrated in the slow tail of the distribution, and the relationship between baseline response speed and magnitude of priming was similar across recognition and LD tasks. These results suggest that meaning-based priming is a retrospective mechanism that primarily affects cases in which word recognition is more effortful, independently of task demands at the decision or response selection stage. When task-related processing goals direct attention towards non-semantic information (Experiment 3), semantic priming was reduced relative to baseline response speed, indicating that semantic priming may be relatively task-invariant but does depend on the availability of attentional resources at the semantic level. We also investigated how meaning-based relationships affect the planning and execution of forward saccades during reading by manipulating parafoveal preview of the target and post-target words (Experiments 4 and 5). We did not find evidence for the hypothesis that semantic relatedness primarily affects the L2 stages of EZ Reader account, as was suggested by the lack of semantic priming on fast responses in the LDT. Instead, it appears that semantic priming effects have an activation floor of at least 300 ms. This time-based account of priming explains differences in distributional priming effects between manual and ocular responses, as well as the fleeting nature of priming effects during sentence reading.
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  • In Copyright
  • Hollins, Mark
  • Gordon, Peter
  • Arnold, Jennifer
  • Hopfinger, Joseph
  • Giovanello, Kelly
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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