Date of Award

1995

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Don Thomson

Second Advisor

Dr Brett Degoldie

Abstract

This thesis examines the effect of time delay and intervening items on masked repetition studies with word stem completion tasks. In the first experiment a masked priming effect was obtained. The effect was strongest 500ms after the presentation of the prime, and decreasing in a linear trend seven seconds after the presentation of the prime. The second experiment found that interpolating a naming task between the masked prime and the stem completion task eliminated the effects of the repeated masked prime. This result is a failure to replicate previous research which found a masked repetition effect over a short delay with intervening items. These results are interpreted as supporting the contention that masking a priming stimulus excludes formation of a trace in the episodic memory system and so provides an insight into the functioning of the lexical processing system. It appears that priming the lexicon with a masked stimulus leaves the system activated for at least 7s and the decay of this activation is a time dependent process.

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