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Response learning and priming: evidence for multiple levels of response representation
Experimental Psychology Society Meeting - April 2008
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Repetition priming refers to a change in reaction time, or response accuracy, to a previously encountered stimulus. Recent research has suggested repetition priming is largely driven by previously learnt stimulus-response pairings (Dobbins, Schnyer, Verfaellie, & Schacter, 2004; Schnyer, Dobbins, Nicholls, Schacter, & Verfaellie, 2006). On first presentation, a direct association forms between the stimulus presented and the response given; on a subsequent encounter with the stimulus, this association automatically cues the response, bypassing the processing stages required during its first presentation. Previous research, however, has been unable to accurately characterise the level of response representation within such S-R associations. For example, the response may be encoded at a specific motor-output level (Dobbins, Schnyer, Verfaellie, & Schacter, 2004), or at a more abstract “decision” level (Logan, 1990). Here we present a series of experiments which demonstrate response encoding at multiple levels of representation, with each representational level having a measurable effect on repetition priming. These results have clear implications for experimental paradigms which aim to control for the effects of response-repetition