The impact of selective attention mechanisms on the longevity of repetition priming in a lexical decision task
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
This study investigated repetition priming effects in a lexical decision task, and was designed as a follow up to a negative priming experiment conducted for my Honours’ project last year. Similar to the previous experiment, a priming task was used whereby participants were required to make a verbal naming response to a prime target word, flanked by a distractor word, followed by a lexical decision response to a probe target word or nonword, flanked by a distractor word. The longevity of the repetition priming effect was explored in short and long lag conditions wherein stimuli were presented once and only once, except in order to fulfil the attended repetition conditions. The results evidenced a large immediate repetition priming effect. However, contrary to the results of the previous experiment where the negative priming effect was sustained for over eight minutes with many intervening trials, there was no evidence of facilitation in the current experiment after the same delay. Due to the perhaps surprising absence of long lag positive priming, further supplementary analyses involving compatibilities among the surface features between prime and probe displays were also conducted. The implications of the collective results for the understanding of selective attention and memory mechanisms are discussed.