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Phonological priming

Marco Teórico

The concept of priming refers to a specific psychological phenomenon that occurs without consciousness of it, in which the exposure to a certain stimulus decisively influences cognitive processing affecting the responses given to subsequent stimuli. In the case of phonological priming, the prime that is presented bears a phonological relationship with the target word. If we accept the assumption -held by numerous theories (for example: Collins & Loftus, 1975)- according to which the activation of a node decreasingly propagates itself to adjacent nodes, we may expect that the presence of a stimulus which is phonologically similar to one of its ‘neighbors’ in the phonological net will facilitate the subsequent processing of the ‘neighbor’ at issue, due to the fact that the latter will be already pre-activated. If the presentation of the prime is masked (i.e., it is not consciously perceived), the occurrence of this effect provides evidence for the existence of implicit or unconscious perceptual processes.

Phonological Priming

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