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Orthographic priming: Qualitative differences between priming from identified and unidentified primes.
Humphreys, G.W., Evett, L.J., Quinlan, P.T. & Besner, D.
In M. Coltheart (Ed.), Attention and Performance XII, The Psychology of Reading (pp. 105-125). Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
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Orthographic priming occurs when target report is facilitated when primes and targets share letters, even though subjects fail to identify primes. This paper examines some of the boundary conditions under which orthographic priming occurs. Experiment 1 demonstrated that orthographic priming can occur under conditions where subjects fail to discriminate whether primes are letter strings or rows of Xs, and where subjects fail to report prime letters at a level greater than chance when targets are not presented. Experiment 2 demonstrated that priming effects occurred when primes were masked and were not identified, but not when primes were not masked and could be identified. We suggest that orthographic priming occurs when primes and targets are not classed as discrete perceptual events. Qualitatively different effects arise when primes and targets are identified as separate perceptual events. The implications of these results for interpreting orthographic priming effects are discussed.