Modulating the masked congruence priming effect with the hands and the mouth

Matthew Finkbeiner*, Alfonso Caramazza

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    The authors report a series of experiments in which they use the masked congruence priming paradigm to investigate the processing of masked primes in the manual and verbal response modalities. In the manual response modality, they found that masked incongruent primes produced interference relative to both congruent and neutral primes. This finding, which replicates the standard finding in the masked congruence priming literature, is presumed to reflect the conflict that arises between two incompatible responses and, thus, to index the extent of processing of the masked prime. Somewhat surprisingly, when participants were asked to respond verbally in the same task, masked incongruent primes no longer produced interference, but masked congruent primes produced facilitation. These findings are surprising because they suggest that the processing of nonconsciously perceived primes extends to the response level in the manual, but not verbal, response modality. The authors propose that the modulation of the masked congruence priming effect by response modality is due to verbal, but not manual, responses being mediated by the lexical-phonological production system.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)894-918
    Number of pages25
    JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


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