Rhyme Priming of Pictures and Words: A Lexical Activation Account

Stephen J. Lupker*, Bonnie A. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    Orthographically/phonologically related primes have typically been found to facilitate processing of target words. This phenomenon is usually explained in terms of spreading activation between nodes for orthographically/phonologically similar words in lexical memory. The phenomenon was explored in a series of studies involving the manipulations of prime and target type (word or picture) and prime and target task (naming or categorization). Generally, the results support the lexical activation explanation. Named primes, which activate lexical memory, facilitate processing in all target tasks involving lexical access (word and picture naming and word categorization), independent of prime type. Categorized primes show the expected Prime Type × Relatedness interaction with word primes, which activate lexical memory, producing much more facilitation than picture primes. Finally, unlike in semantic priming studies, increased depth of processing of a word prime decreased the size of the priming effects. Apparently, initial activation levels in lexical memory are not maintained when semantic processing of the prime is required.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1033-1046
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 1989


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