The time course of phonological, semantic, and orthographic coding in reading: Evidence from the fast-priming technique

Hye Won Lee, Keith Rayner, Alexander Pollatsek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present experiment employed the fast-priming paradigm in reading (Sereno & Rayner, 1992), in which sentences are silently read while eye-movement-contingent changes are made on a specified target region. In this paradigm, when readers fixate on a specified target word region, a prime word is encountered for a brief duration at the beginning of the fixation and then it is replaced by a target word. Three types of primes were employed: homophones, semantically related, and orthographically similar, and five prime durations were employed: 29, 32, 35, 38, and 41 msec. The primary finding was that significant homophone priming was obtained at prime durations ranging from 29 to 35 msec, whereas significant semantic priming occurred only at the 32-msec prime duration. In contrast, significant orthographic priming occurred at all prime durations. These findings indicate that phonological codes are activated during an eye fixation at least as rapidly as semantic codes. An explanation for the pattern of events is suggested using the framework of an activation-verification model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)624-634
Number of pages11
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1999

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