Computational modelling of the masked onset priming effect in reading aloud

Petroula Mousikou*, Max Coltheart, Steven Saunders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The masked onset priming effect (MOPE) was first defined by Forster and Davis (1991) as the finding that human naming latencies are faster when a target word (e.g., BREAK) is preceded by a briefly presented masked prime word that shares its initial sound with the target (e.g., belly) compared to when it does not (e.g., merry) or when it rhymes with it (e.g., stake). The present paper presents a review of empirical findings on the MOPE in the English language and their simulations by the DRC computational model of reading (Coltheart, Rastle, Perry, Langdon, Ziegler, 2001), which offers an explicit account of how the effect might occur in humans. A new version of DRC, called DRC 1.2, which differs from the previous downloadable DRC version mainly in the way its nonlexical route operates, has been recently developed. The performance of DRC 1.2 on simulating the MOPE is evaluated in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-763
Number of pages39
JournalEuropean Journal of Cognitive Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010

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