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ERIC Number: EJ994872
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Masked Priming Effects in Aphasia: Evidence of Altered Automatic Spreading Activation
Silkes, JoAnn P.; Rogers, Margaret A.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v55 n6 p1613-1625 Dec 2012
Purpose: Previous research has suggested that impairments of automatic spreading activation may underlie some aphasic language deficits. The current study further investigated the status of automatic spreading activation in individuals with aphasia as compared with typical adults. Method: Participants were 21 individuals with aphasia (12 fluent, 9 nonfluent) and 31 typical adults. Reaction time data were collected on a lexical decision task with masked repetition primes, assessed at 11 different interstimulus intervals (ISIs). Masked primes were used to assess automatic spreading activation without the confound of conscious processing. The various ISIs were used to assess the time to onset and duration of priming effects. Results: The control group showed maximal priming in the 200-ms ISI condition, with significant priming at a range of ISIs surrounding that peak. Participants with both fluent and nonfluent aphasia showed maximal priming effects in the 250-ms ISI condition and primed across a smaller range of ISIs than did the control group. Conclusions: Results suggest that individuals with aphasia have slowed automatic spreading activation and impaired maintenance of activation over time, regardless of fluency classification. These findings have implications for understanding aphasic language impairment and for development of aphasia treatments designed to directly address automatic language processes.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A