Effects of phonological similarity on priming in auditory lexical decision

Louisa M. Slowiaczek, David B. Pisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Scopus citations


Two auditory lexical decision experiments were conducted to determine whether facilitation can be obtained when a prime and a target share word-initial phonological information. Subjects responded "word" or "nonword" to monosyllabic words and nonwords controlled for frequency. Each target was preceded by the presentation of either a word or nonword prime that was identical to the target or shared three, two, or one phonemes from the beginning. The results showed that lexical decision times decreased when the prime and target were identical for both word and nonword targets. However, no facilitation was observed when the prime and target shared three, two, or one initial phonemes, These results were found when the interstimulus interval between the prime and target was 500 msec or 50 msec. In a second experiment, no differences were found between primes and targets that shared three, one, or zero phonemes, although facilitation was observed for identical prime-target pairs. The results are compared to recent findings obtained using a perceptual identification paradigm. Taken together, the findings suggest several important differences in the way lexical decision and perceptual identification tasks tap into the information-processing system during auditory word recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-237
Number of pages8
JournalMemory & Cognition
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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