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Mechanisms underpinning semantic priming in spoken word retrieval

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posted on 2022-03-28, 01:21 authored by Oksana Lyalka
A number of studies have shown that speed and accuracy of word retrieval may be affected by the previous retrieval of a word with similar semantic meaning. This phenomenon is called semantic priming and includes both semantic interference or and facilitation. While there is a clear evidence for the presence of semantic priming, the mechanisms causing this effect are still under debate. Therefore, the goal of this PhD was to provide evidence regarding these mechanisms by systematically evaluating the effect of primes with different semantic relations on the speed and accuracy of spoken word retrieval in healthy subjects and people with aphasia. Five experiments were implemented with healthy participants focusing on the effects in priming of semantic coordination, association and part-whole relations on spoken word retrieval with zero or four intervening items between prime and target (lags 0 and 4). Chapter Two reports two experiments using an alternating word reading and picture naming paradigm and Chapter Three, three experiments using a continuous picture naming paradigm. Chapter Four reports two experiments with people with aphasia examining the effects of identity, semantic coordination, association and their interaction on facilitation of picture naming. The results of these two experiments were analysed at both individual subject and group levels. In Chapter Five, these experiments are placed in the context of the previous literature on semantic priming and theories of semantic representation. In this regard, the experimental results are taken to imply that semantic coordination, association, and part-whole relations can be attributed to different types of semantic relations that have different representation and organisation. Further implications of the experiments for our understanding of the mechanisms of lexical access and the nature of lexical representation are discussed -- abstract.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The nature of semantic and lexical representation and retrieval -- Chapter 2: Is association always facilitatory? Direction matters! -- Chapter 3: Effects of association, coordination, and part-whole primes in the continuous picture naming paradigm -- Chapter 4: Does producing semantically related words aid word retrieval in people with aphasia? -- Chapter 5: General discussion -- References -- Appendices.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 147-160

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Cognitive Science, Department of Human Sciences

Department, Centre or School

Department of Cognitive Science

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Lyndsey Nickels

Additional Supervisor 1

David Howard

Additional Supervisor 2

Julie Morris


Copyright Oksana Lyalka 2017. Copyright disclaimer:




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