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The effects of response stimuli interval on error priming in sequential object naming

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Two experiments are reported, which examine the effect of altering response stimulus interval on the positive and negative error priming effects found during sequential object naming. Positive error priming refers to errors that relate to earlier responses at above chance rates. Negative error priming refers to the absence of errors that refer to the immediately preceding trial in particular (Lag 1), and this has been interpreted as a brief inhibitory effect. In Experiment 1, a series of pictures of animals were presented, with either 4 or 8sec intervening between response and next stimulus (RSI). Positive and negative error priming was evident in both conditions, though the positive error priming appeared to be attributable to only a subsection of the participants. Errors began to emerge at shorter lags in the 8sec RSI condition than the 4sec RSI condition, and this is inconsistent with any account which suggests inhibition is released after the next trial. In Experiment 2, the RSIs between related animal pictures were just over 8 and 16sec, and an intervening unrelated item was included between related pictures. Lag 1 errors were now the most frequent response in the long RSI condition, and there was an increase in the incidence of Lag 1 errors across RSI conditions. A preliminary assessment of the effects of adding an unrelated item suggested that it may cause a partial release from inhibition. Taken together, the data are consistent with the theory that inhibition decays over time, and the results are discussed with reference to other inhibitory effects in cognition.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, University of East London, London, UK 2: Department of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

Publication date: 2000-07-01

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