Although subjects have little or no awareness of masked primes, Bodner and Masson (2001) found that priming of lexical decisions is often enhanced when masked repetition primes occur on a high proportion of trials. We used baseline prime conditions to specify the locus of this repetition proportion (RP) effect. In Experiments 1A and 1B, a .8-RP group showed more priming than did a .2-RP group, and this RP effect was due to both (1) increased facilitation from repetition primes and (2) increased interference from unrelated primes. In Experiment 2, we used the baseline condition to show that subjects are sensitive to RP rather than to the proportion of unrelated primes. Direct comparisons of a given prime condition (repetition, unrelated) across RP conditions were more stable than were comparisons relative to the baseline condition. The increased costs and benefits of repetition priming when RP is higher implicate a context-sensitive mechanism that constrains accounts of masked priming.
Allen, S. W., &Jacoby, L. L. (1990). Reinstating study context produces unconscious influences of memory.Memory & Cognition,18, 270–278.
Anderson, J. R., &Milson, R. (1989). Human memory: An adaptive perspective.Psychological Review,96, 703–719.
Anderson, J. R., &Schooler, L. J. (1991). Reflections of the environment in memory.Psychological Science,2, 396–408.
Antos, S. J. (1979). Processing facilitation in a lexical decision task.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance,5, 527–545.
Bodner, G. E., & Brewer, A. (2006). Masked repetition priming: Evidence for facilitation and interference. Manuscript in preparation.
Bodner, G. E., &Dypvik, A. T. (2005). Masked priming of number judgments depends on prime validity and task.Memory & Cognition,33, 29–47.
Bodner, G. E., &Masson, M. E. J. (1997). Masked repetition priming of words and nonwords: Evidence for a nonlexical basis for priming.Journal of Memory & Language,37, 268–293.
Bodner, G. E., & Masson, M. E. J. (1998, November). Repetition prime proportion modulates masked repetition priming. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Dallas.
Bodner, G. E., &Masson, M. E. J. (2001). Prime validity affects masked repetition priming: Evidence for an episodic resource account of priming.Journal of Memory & Language,45, 616–647.
Bodner, G. E., &Masson, M. E. J. (2003). Beyond spreading activation: An influence of relatedness proportion on masked semantic priming.Psychonomic Bulletin & Review,10, 645–652.
Bodner, G. E., &Masson, M. E. J. (2004). Beyond binary judgments: Prime validity modulates masked repetition priming in the naming task.Memory & Cognition,32, 1–11.
Brysbaert, M. (2001). Prelexical phonological coding of visual words in Dutch: Automatic after all.Memory & Cognition,29, 765–773.
Damian, M. F. (2001). Congruity effects evoked by subliminally presented primes: Automaticity rather than semantic processing.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance,27, 154–165.
Davis, C. J. (2003). Factors underlying masked priming effects in competitive network models of visual word recognition. In S. Kinoshita & S. J. Lupker (Eds.),Masked priming: The state of the art (pp. 121–170). New York: Psychology Press.
de Groot, A. M. (1984). Primed lexical decision: Combined effects of the proportion of related prime-target pairs and the stimulus onset asynchrony of prime and target.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology,36A, 253–280.
de Groot, A. M., Thomassen, A. J., &Hudson, P. T. (1986). Primedlexical decision: The effect of varying the stimulus onset asynchrony of prime and target.Acta Psychologica,61, 17–36.
den Heyer, K., Briand, K., &Dannenbring, G. L. (1983). Strategic factors in a lexical-decision task: Evidence for automatic and attentiondriven processes.Memory & Cognition,11, 374–381.
den Heyer, K., Briand, K., &Smith, L. (1985). Automatic and strategic effects in semantic priming: An examination of Becker’s verification model.Memory & Cognition,13, 228–232.
Favreau, M., &Segalowitz, N. S. (1983). Automatic and controlled processes in the first- and second-language reading of fluent bilinguals.Memory & Cognition,11, 565–574.
Forster, K. I. (1998). The pros and cons of masked priming.Journal of Psycholinguistic Research,27, 203–233.
Forster, K. I., &Davis, C. (1984). Repetition priming and frequency attenuation in lexical access.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,10, 680–698.
Forster, K. I., Mohan, K., &Hector, J. (2003). The mechanics of masked priming. In S. Kinoshita & S. J. Lupker (Eds.),Masked priming: The state of the art (pp. 3–37). New York: Psychology Press.
Greenwald, A. G. (1992). New Look 3: Unconscious cognition reclaimed.American Psychologist,47, 766–779.
Greenwald, A. G., Abrams, R. L., Naccache, L., &Dehaene, S. (2003). Long-term semantic memory versus contextual memory in unconscious number processing.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,29, 235–247.
Jacoby, L. L. (1983). Perceptual enhancement: Persistent effects of an experience.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,9, 21–38.
Jaskowski, P., Skalska, B., &Verleger, R. (2003). How the self controls its “automatic pilot” when processing subliminal information.Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience,15, 911–920.
Jonides, J., &Mack, R. (1984). On the cost and benefit of cost and benefit.Psychological Bulletin,96, 29–44.
Kinoshita, S., Forster, K. I., & Mozer, M. C. (2006). Modulation of masked repetition priming effect in the word naming task. Manuscript submitted for publication.
Kinoshita, S., &Lupker, S. J. (Eds.) (2003).Masked priming: The state of the art. New York: Psychology Press.
Klinger, M. R., Burton, P. C., &Pitts, G. S. (2000). Mechanisms of unconscious priming: I. Response competition, not spreading activation.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,26, 441–455.
Kolers, P. A., &Roediger, H. L., III (1984). Procedures of mind.Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior,23, 425–449.
Kučera, H., &Francis, W. N. (1967).Computational analysis of presentday American English. Providence, RI: Brown University Press.
Loftus, G. R., &Masson, M. E. J. (1994). Using confidence intervals in within-subject designs.Psychonomic Bulletin & Review,1, 476–490.
Logan, G. D. (1988). Toward an instance theory of automatization.Psychological Review,95, 492–527.
Lupker, S. J., Brown, P., &Colombo, L. (1997). Strategic control in a naming task: Changing routes or changing deadlines?Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,23, 570–590.
Masson, M. E. J., &Bodner, G. E. (2003). A retrospective view of masked priming: Toward a unified account of masked and long-term repetition priming. In S. Kinoshita & S. J. Lupker (Eds.),Masked priming: The state of the art (pp. 57–94). New York: Psychology Press.
Masson, M. E. J., &Loftus, G. R. (2003). Using confidence intervals for graphically based data interpretation.Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology,57, 203–220.
McClelland, J. L., &Rumelhart, D. E. (1981). An interactive activation model of context effects in letter perception: I. An account of basic findings.Psychological Review,88, 375–407.
Morris, C. D., Bransford, J. D., &Franks, J. J. (1977). Levels of processing versus transfer-appropriate processing.Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior,16, 519–533.
Mozer, M. C., Kinoshita, S., &Davis, C. J. (2004). Control of response initiation: Mechanisms of adaptation to recent experience. In K. Forbus, D. Gentner, & T. Regier (Eds.),Proceedings of the 26th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 981–986). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Naccache, L., Blandin, E., &Dehaene, S. (2002). Unconscious masked priming depends on temporal attention.Psychological Science,13, 416–424.
Naccache, L., &Dehaene, S. (2001). Unconscious semantic priming extends to novel unseen stimuli.Cognition,80, 215–229.
Neely, J. H. (1977). Semantic priming and retrieval from lexical memory: Roles of inhibitionless spreading activation and limited-capacity attention.Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,106, 226–254.
Neely, J. H. (1991). Semantic priming effects in visual word recognition: A selective review of current findings and theories. In D. Besner & G. W. Humphreys (Eds.),Basic processes in reading: Visual word recognition (pp. 264–336). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Neumann, O., &Klotz, W. (1994). Motor responses to nonreportable masked stimuli: Where is the limit of direct parameter specification? In C. Umiltà & M. Moscovitch (Eds.),Attention and performance XV: Conscious and nonconscious information processing (pp. 123–150). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Pecher, D., Zeelenberg, R., &Raaijmakers, J. G. W. (2002). Associative priming in a masked perceptual identification task: Evidence for automatic processes.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology,55A, 1157–1173.
Perea, M., &Gotor, A. (1996). Effects of masked repetition priming and orthographic neighborhood in visual recognition of words.Perceptual & Motor Skills,83, 179–186.
Ratcliff, R., McKoon, G., &Verwoerd, M. (1989). A bias interpretation of facilitation in perceptual identification.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,15, 378–387.
Schooler, L. J., &Anderson, J. R. (1997). The role of process in the rational analysis of memory.Cognitive Psychology,32, 219–250.
Sereno, J. A. (1991). Graphemic, associative, and syntactic priming effects at a brief stimulus onset asynchrony in lexical decision and naming.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,17, 459–477.
Smith, L. C., Briand, K., Klein, R. M., &den Heyer, K. (1987). On the generality of Becker’s verification model.Canadian Journal of Psychology,41, 379–386.
Stone, G. O., &Van Orden, G. C. (1992). Resolving empirical inconsistencies concerning priming, frequency, and nonword foils in lexical decision.Language & Speech,35, 295–324.
Stone, G. O., &Van Orden, G. C. (1993). Strategic control of processing in word recognition.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance,19, 744–774.
Ulrich, R., &Miller, J. (1994). Effects of truncation on reaction time analysis.Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,123, 34–80.
Whittlesea, B. W. A., &Jacoby, L. L. (1990). Interaction of prime repetition with visual degradation: Is priming a retrieval phenomenon?Journal of Memory & Language,29, 546–565.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada supported this research through Discovery Grants to G.E.B. and M.E.J.M. and through two Undergraduate Student Research Awards to N.T.R.
Note—This article was accepted by the previous editorial team, when Colin M. MacLeod was Editor.
About this article
Cite this article
Bodner, G.E., Masson, M.E.J. & Richard, N.T. Repetition proportion biases masked priming of lexical decisions. Memory & Cognition 34, 1298–1311 (2006). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03193273
- Stimulus Onset Asynchrony
- Lexical Decision
- Semantic Priming
- Lexical Entry
- Baseline Method