Is there phonologically based priming in the same-different task? Evidence from Japanese-English bilinguals

Stephen J. Lupker, Mariko Nakayama, Manuel Perea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Norris and colleagues (Kinoshita & Norris, 2009; Norris & Kinoshita, 2008; Norris, Kinoshita, & van Casteren, 2010) have suggested that priming effects in the masked prime same-different task are based solely on prelexical orthographic codes. This suggestion was evaluated by examining phonological priming in that task using Japanese-English bilinguals. Targets and reference words were English words with the primes written in Katakana script, a syllabic script that is orthographically quite different from the Roman letter script used in writing English. Phonological priming was observed both when the primes were Japanese cognate translation equivalents of the English target/reference words (Experiment 1) and when the primes were phonologically similar Katakana nonwords (Experiment 2), with the former effects being substantially larger than the noncognate translation priming effects reported by Lupker, Perea, and Nakayama (2015). These results indicate that the same-different task is influenced by phonological information. One implication is that, due to the fact that phonology and orthography are inevitably confounded in Roman letter languages, previously reported priming effects in those languages may have been at least partly due to phonological, rather than orthographic, similarity. The potential extent of this problem, the nature of the matching process in the same-different task, and the implications for using this task as a means of investigating the orthographic code in reading are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1281-1299
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognate translation equivalents
  • Orthographic code
  • Phonological priming
  • Same-different task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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