A position-sensitive stroop effect: further evidence for a left-to-right component in print-to-speech conversion

Max Coltheart*, Anna Woollams, Sachiko Kinoshita, Conrad Perry

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    66 Citations (Scopus)


    In the classical Stroop effect, response times for naming the color in which a word is printed are affected by the presence of semantic, phonological, or orthographic relationships between the stimulus word and the response word. We show that color naming responses are faster when the printed word shares a phoneme with the color name to be produced than when it does not, in conditions where there is no semantic relationship between the printed word and the color name. This result is compatible with a variety of computational models of reading. However, we also found that these effects are much larger when it is the first phoneme that the stimulus and response share than when it is the last. Our data are incompatible with computational models of reading in which the computation of phonology from print is purely parallel. The dual route cascaded model computational model of reading, which has a lexical route that operates in parallel and a nonlexical route that operates serially letter by letter, successfully simulates this position-sensitive Stroop effect. The model also successfully simulates the "onset effect" in masked priming (Forster & Davis, 1991) and the interaction between the regularity effect and the position in a word of a grapheme-phoneme irregularity (Rastle & Coltheart, 1999b) - effects which, we argue, arise for the same reason as the position-sensitive Stroop effect we report.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)456-463
    Number of pages8
    JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 1999


    • stroop effect
    • color naming
    • onset effect
    • critical stimulus
    • prime duration


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