Priming lexical neighbors of spoken words: Effects of competition and inhibition

Stephen D. Goldinger, Paul A. Luce, David B. Pisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

268 Scopus citations


Two experiments employing an auditory priming paradigm were conducted to test predictions of the Neighborhood Activation Model of spoken word recognition (Luce & Pisoni, 1989, Neighborhoods of words in the mental lexicon. Manuscript under review). Acousticphonetic similarity, neighborhood densities, and frequencies of prime and target words were manipulated. In Experiment 1, priming with low frequency, phonetically related spoken words inhibited target recognition, as predicted by the Neighborhood Activation Model. In Experiment 2, the same prime-target pairs were presented with a longer inter-stimulus interval and the effects of priming were eliminated. In both experiments, predictions derived from the Neighborhood Activation Model regarding the effects of neighborhood density and word frequency were supported. The results are discussed in terms of competing activation of lexical neighbors and the dissociation of activation and frequency in spoken word recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-518
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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