Visual word recognition

Evidence for global and local control over semantic feedback

Serje Robidoux*, Jennifer Stolz, Derek Besner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Two lexical decision experiments examined the joint effects of stimulus quality, semantic context, and cue-target associative strength when all factors were intermixed in a block of trials. Both experiments found a three-way interaction. Semantic context and stimulus quality interacted when associative strength between cue-target pairs was strong, and the interaction was eliminated when the strength was weak. These results support a role for a local mechanism that relies on trial specific information, in addition to a mechanism that makes use of global information available across a block of trials. The absence of an interaction between the joint effects of semantic context and stimulus quality is attributed to blocking the feedback from the semantic system to the orthographic system, functionally separating the orthographic and semantic modules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-703
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Associative strength
  • Control
  • Feedback
  • Semantic priming
  • Stimulus quality

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