Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
According to the multistage activation model of visual word recognition (Besner & Smith, 1992a, 1992b; Borowsky & Besner, 1993), during visual word recognition, activation can spread from semantic to orthographic representations via a feedback mechanism. Two experiments were conducted in order to test directly whether or not such feedback occurs, and if so, under what conditions. In order to directly measure feedback, a mediated priming paradigm was utilized. In this paradigm, participants named aloud targets that were preceded either by a semantically related prime (e.g., dog - cat! or by a prime that is related to the target via a mediating word (e.g., dog - (cat) - vat). In this case the mediating word cat is semantically related to the prime, and is both orthographically and phonologically related to the target. Direct evidence of activational feedback was obtained in the form of mediated inhibition effects which were found in the presence of semantic priming effects. These mediated inhibition effects are consistent with activational feedback, thus, they support the multistage activation model of visual word recognition and not the activation-verification model (Paap, Newsome, McDonald, & Schvaneveldt, 1982; Paap, McDonald, Schvaneveldt & Noel, 1987).
Reimer, Jason F., "Orthographically Mediated Inhibition Effects: Evidence of Activational Feedback During Visual Word Recognition" (1996). Student Work. 84.