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Cross-modal repetition priming with homophones provides clues about representation in the word recognition system

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In three experiments, we assessed the impact of auditory homophone primes (/swi:t/) on lexical decisions to visually presented low-frequency (suite) and high-frequency (sweet) homophone spellings. In Experiment 1 we investigated the time course of these cross-modal repetition priming effects. Results suggested that low-frequency homophone spellings do not reach the same activation level as nonhomophones, even at long SOAs. There were no differences in priming between high-frequency homophones and nonhomophones. In Experiments 2 and 3 we attempted to eliminate the impact of strategies with lower proportions of repetition primes. Results showed smaller priming effects for both low- and high-frequency homophones than for nonhomophones, suggesting that neither homophone spelling is fully activated. Implications for local and distributed models of word recognition are discussed.
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Keywords: blend state; cross-modal priming; homophones; lexical decision; orthography; phonology; repetition priming; semantic; word recognition

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2007

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