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Transposed-letter priming of pre-lexical orthographic representations
Kinoshita, S. & NORRIS, D.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 35(1), 1-18
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A prime generated by transposing two internal letters (e.g., jugde) produces strong priming of the original word (judge). In lexical decision, this transposed-letter (TL) priming effect is generally weak or absent for nonword targets, thus it is unclear whether the origin of this effect is lexical or pre-lexical. We describe the Bayesian Reader theory of masked priming (Norris & Kinoshita, in press) which explains why nonwords do not show priming in lexical decision, but why they do in the cross-case same-different task. We follow this analysis with three experiments that show that priming in this task is not based on low-level perceptual similarity between the prime and target, nor on phonology, to make the case that priming is based on pre-lexical orthographic representation. We then use this task to demonstrate equivalent TL priming effects for nonwords and words. We take this as the first reliable evidence based on masked priming procedure that letter position is not coded absolutely within the pre-lexical, orthographic representation. We also discuss the implication of the results for current letter position coding schemes.