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Response learning contributions to behavioural priming and Repetition Suppression
15th Cognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting
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Prior exposure to a stimulus can facilitate its subsequent identification and classification, a phenomenon called priming. This behavioural facilitation is usually accompanied by a reduction in neural response within specific cortical regions (Repetition Suppression – RS) (Grill-Spector, Henson, & Martin, 2006). Recent research has suggested both behavioural priming and RS are 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. Here we present both behavioural and fMRI evidence suggesting that, although response learning mechanisms play a significant role, they cannot explain all priming effects. Furthermore, although response switches between initial and repeated stimulus presentations significantly reduce behavioural priming, RS in perceptual brain regions was found to be relatively robust to changes in both task and response.