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The locus of self-inhibition in sequential retrieval

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Self-inhibition refers to the suppression of a representational node following its use in a sequential task. Two general models of self-inhibition exist in the literature: one that models suppression following activation of a node (Houghton & Tipper, 1994), and one that models suppression following motor production of a node (MacKay, 1986). These two models make opposite predictions for units that are activated but not produced, with the post-activation model predicting interference and the post-production model predicting facilitation. These predictions were tested using operand--answer priming in two mental addition experiments. Addition problems with sums <10 were primed with addition problems that contained the correct sum as one of the operands (e.g., 5 + 8 preceding 3 + 2). Experiment 2 included an additional manipulation of prime-target discriminability to rule out episodic retrieval accounts of the interference effect. Both experiments indicated interference following operand-answer primes relative to control primes, consistent with the predictions of the post-activation model of self-inhibition.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09541440244000067

Affiliations: 1: University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada 2: University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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