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Bindings between stimuli and multiple response codes dominate long-lag repitition priming in speeded classification tasks
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 35(3), 757-779
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Repetition priming is often thought to reflect the facilitation of one or more processes engaged during initial and subsequent presentations of a stimulus. Priming can also reflect the formation of direct, stimulus-response (S-R) bindings, retrieval of which bypasses many of the processes engaged during the initial presentation. Using long-lag repetition priming of semantic classification of visual stimuli, Experiments 1-5 used task-switches between study and test phases to reveal several signatures of S-R learning. Indeed, there was surprisingly little, if any, evidence of priming that could not be attributed to S-R learning, once we considered the possibility that stimuli are simultaneously bound to multiple, different response codes. Experiments 6-7 provided more direct evidence for independent contributions from at least three levels of response representation: the Action (e.g., specific finger used), the Decision (e.g., “yes/no”) and the task-specific Classification (e.g., “bigger/smaller”). While S-R learning has been discussed previously in many contexts, the present results go beyond existing theories of S-R learning. Moreover, its dominant role questions many interpretations of priming during speeded classification tasks in terms of perceptual/conceptual processing.