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MR and MS priming: S-R learning contributions to priming at multiple levels of stimulus and response representation
Experimental Psychology Society Meeting - July 2009
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Prior exposure to a stimulus can facilitate its subsequent identification and classification, a phenomenon called priming. Recent research has suggested that priming in speeded classification tasks is largely driven by the formation of direct stimulus-response (S-R) bindings, retrieval of which can bypass some of the processes engaged during initial presentation (Dennis & Schmidt, 2003; Dobbins, Schnyer, Verfaellie, & Schacter, 2004; Horner & Henson, in press). At what level of representation do such S-R bindings occur? For example, it has been debated whether responses are coded at the specific level of motor-output (Dobbins, Schnyer, Verfaellie, & Schacter, 2004), or at a more abstract level of interpretation (Logan, 1990). Using long-lag repetition priming of semantic classification of visual objects, we present evidence to suggest S-R bindings form simultaneously at multiple levels of stimulus and response representation. Specifically, our studies suggest the existence of at least two levels of stimulus representation, and at least three levels of response representation. How do such S-R bindings interact with the common conception, for example from identification tasks, that priming reflects facilitation of one or more component processes (Witherspoon & Moscovitch, 1989)? We attempt to answer this within a tentative Multi-Route, Multi-Stage (MR-MS) framework of priming. Dennis, I., & Schmidt, K. (2003). Associative processes in repetition priming. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 29(4), 532-538. Dobbins, I. G., Schnyer, D. M., Verfaellie, M., & Schacter, D. L. (2004). Cortical activity reductions during repetition priming can result from rapid response learning. Nature, 428(6980), 316-319. Horner, A. J., & Henson, R. (in press). Bindings between stimuli and multiple response codes dominate long-lag repetition priming in speeded classification tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. Logan, G. D. (1990). Repetition priming and automaticity: common underlying mechanisms? Cognitive Psychology, 22, 1-35. Witherspoon, D., & Moscovitch, M. (1989). Stochastic independence between two implicit memory tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 15(1), 22-30.