Studies of character classification have shown that reaction time is reduced when the probe is the same as the last-rehearsed target item. If rehearsal functions as a generative process to reduce response time by stimulus activation, comparable results should be obtained if the task is changed from probe classification to probe naming. A letter identification baseline was obtained in Session 1 where subjects named single probe letters as quickly as possible. In Sessions 2 and 3, each probe letter was preceded by a target of three to five letters, which were rehearsed individually prior to the probe, and subjects reported their last rehearsal after naming the probe. The results showed that (1) naming latencies were longer in Sessions 2 and 3 than in Session 1, suggesting that rehearsal requires conscious attention; (2) letter probes that matched the last-rehearsed target item were named faster than those that were different; (3) when performance was examined in terms of the rehearsal distance between the target items and probe, target set size had no effect on probe identification time. Generative processes were suggested to influence probe encoding time through stimulus preprocessing.
Probe Naming Stimulus Probability Naming Latency Probe Classification Stimulus Quality