Picture Naming: An Investigation of the Nature of Categorical Priming

Stephen J. Lupker*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    59 Citations (Scopus)


    Although there are numerous theories of the structure of semantic memory, a notion central to many of these theories is that of semantic category membership. The present studies represent an investigation of the effects of a semantic category relation between prime and target in a picture-naming task. Because picture naming is presumed to require access to semantic memory, category priming effects were anticipated even when associative and phonetic effects were eliminated. This expectation was verified in Experiment 1. Experiments 2 and 3 were attempts to specify the nature and locus of this categorical priming effect. In particular, it was suggested that one locus would be an entry-level memory system for pictures. Results suggest that this system plays little role in categorical priming of picture naming. Rather, a better explanation would be one based on processing within semantic memory. The possibility of lexical memory acting as an additional locus is also considered.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)444-455
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 1988


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