Psycholinguistics and Priming

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Psycholinguistics and Priming

Postby Engma » Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:00 pm UTC

Okay, for those of you who don't know, I'll give a bit of background on my question:

In psycholinguistics, one of the favorite tests for quite a while was to see how quickly people recognize words. Their brains are monitored and words are flashed in front of them while measurements of brain activity are being recorded.

But, they found the phenomena of "priming". Basically, if you flash a word and then a related word right after it, the test subject has been primed to recognize the related word already, thus they will recognize it faster.

(ie: birthday primes cake, shape primes square, etc)

What I want to know is if anyone has read any papers about priming with pictures. I want to know what happens if you flash a picture of a horse and then the word "saddle". Does the same thing happen? What about with more conceptual things? If we show a picture of a heart, will the subject read "love" or "valentine" faster?

If you've read a scholarly paper on the subject, please message me with author(s), date(s), and title(s).
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Re: Psycholinguistics and Priming

Postby Robin S » Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:05 pm UTC

I would guess not, or that any priming effect is slight, because visual and word recognition are separate so the association is weaker. I imagine that, if there is a priming effect, it depends on how long the picture is shown before the word is displayed.

I'm afraid I know of no papers on the subject. I would be as interested as you to read them.
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Re: Psycholinguistics and Priming

Postby Waterhouse » Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:32 pm UTC

I don't know if she's done work specifically on priming, but certainly Dr. Kanwisher at the MIT Brain and Cognitive Sciences Lab has studied brain activity in response to pictures. You can google it yourself.

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Re: Psycholinguistics and Priming

Postby GodShapedBullet » Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:46 am UTC

I found this article:

From the abstract, it sounds like it'll shed a lot of light on the matter. Unfortunately, my university doesn't have access to it, so I can't tell you more than that.

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