Visual similarity effects on masked priming

Sachiko Kinoshita*, Serje Robidoux, Luke Mills, Dennis Norris

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    We investigated the role of the visual similarity of masked primes to targets in a lexical decision experiment. In the primes, some letters in the target (e.g., A in ABANDON) had either visually similar letters (e.g., H), dissimilar letters (D), visually similar digits (4), or dissimilar digits (6) substituted for them. The similarities of the digits and letters to the base letter were equated and verified in a two-alternative forced choice (2AFC) perceptual identification task. Using targets presented in lowercase (e.g., abandon) and primes presented in uppercase, visually similar digit primes (e.g., 484NDON) produced more priming than did visually dissimilar digit primes (676NDON), but little difference was found between the visually similar and dissimilar letter primes (HRHNDON vs. DWDNDON). These results were explained in terms of task-driven competition between the target letter and the visually similar letter.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)821-833
    Number of pages13
    JournalMemory and Cognition
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


    • Lexical processing
    • Repetition priming
    • Word recognition


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