Fast priming of grammatical decisions: repetition and transposed-word priming effects


  • Mirault Jonathan
  • Declerck Mathieu
  • Grainger Jonathan


  • Psychology and cognitive neuroscience grammatical decision task
  • Sentence priming
  • Transposed-word priming

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We used the grammatical decision task to investigate fast priming of written sentence processing. Targets were sequences of 5 words that either formed a grammatically correct sentence or were ungrammatical. Primes were sequences of 5 words and could be the same word sequence as targets, a different sequence of words with a similar syntactic structure, the same sequence with two inner words transposed or the same sequence with two inner words substituted by different words. Prime-word sequences were presented in a larger font size than targets for 200 ms and followed by the target sequence after a 100 ms delay. We found robust repetition priming in grammatical decisions, with same sequence primes leading to faster responses compared with prime sequences containing different words. We also found transposed-word priming effects, with faster responses following a transposed-word prime compared with substituted-word primes. We conclude that fast primed grammatical decisions might offer investigations of written sentence processing what fast primed lexical decisions have offered studies of visual word recognition.

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