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Signal detection theory and modularity: On being sensitive to the power of bias models of semantic priming.
Norris, D.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 21, 935-939
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Rhodes, Parkin and Tremewan (1993) have shown that semantic priming influences signal detection theory measures of sensitivity in visual word recognition. Following an argument presented by Farah (1989), they suggest that this is evidence that semantic information influences perceptual encoding, and that such an influence represents a violation of modularity. The present paper shows that, contrary to Farah's claim, measures of sensitivity cannot be assumed to reflect the operation of perceptual encoding. Simulations are presented to demonstrate that modular criterion-bias models of priming in which priming has no effect on perceptual encoding predict the same sensitivity effects which Rhodes et al. take as evidence against modularity.