New Paper: Word-meaning priming extends beyond homonyms

This paper, which was led by Adam Curtis (Univeristy of York) as part of an ESRC grant awarded to Prof Gareth Gaskell (York) and Prof Jenni Rodd (UCL) has been published in Cognition and can be accessed here.

In three pre-registered experiments, participants were exposed to non-homonym targets (e.g., “balloon”) in sentences that biased interpretation towards a specific aspect of the word’s meaning (e.g., balloon‑helium vs. balloon-float). After a ~ 10–30 min delay access to the primed aspect of the word’s meaning was enhanced.

These findings show that similar ‘word-meaning priming’ effects, that had previously only been shown for homonyms (e.g., bark-dog vs bark-tree) are far more general than previously thought, and sugest that episodic sentence memory plays a key role in comprehension.