Visual Word Recognition: Evidence for Global and Local Control over Semantic Feedback

by Serje Marc Robidoux

Institution: University of Waterloo
Year: 2007
Keywords: cognition; visual word recognition; lexical decision; semantics
Record ID: 1811206
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10012/3326


Two semantic priming experiments in the context of lexical decision are reported that examine the joint effects of stimulus quality, semantic context, and strength of association when all these factors are intermixed in a block of trials. A three-way interaction is seen in both experiments in which the typical interaction between semantic context and stimulus quality is eliminated when the strength of association between prime-target pairs is weak. The results support a role for a control mechanism that makes use of local information available within a trial, in addition to a global control mechanism that operates across a block of trials. The interaction between semantic context and stimulus quality when prime-target pairs are strongly related is attributed to the presence of feedback from the semantic system to the lexical system whereas additive effects of semantic context and stimulus quality is attributed to this feedback being eliminated such that semantic and lexical levels are functionally separate modules.