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Reviewed by:
  • Masked priming: The state of the art ed. by Sachiko Kinoshita, Stephen J. Lupker
  • Carrie Allyn Ankerstein
Masked priming: The state of the art. Ed. by Sachiko Kinoshita and Stephen J. Lupker. Hover, UK: Psychology Press, 2003. Pp. 371. ISBN 1841690953. $90.95 (Hb).

This volume is a collection of papers that resulted from an impromptu‘mini-conference’ on masked priming held at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, April 17–18, 2001. Masked priming paradigms are discussed with respect to their use in the study of visual word recognition. They are presented as an alternative to the more traditional long-term priming paradigms, which may be subject to strategic rather than automatic processing.

In a masked priming paradigm, the presentation time of the prime is generally between 50–60 ms, which is considered to be too short for a conscious awareness of the prime. This method has been developed to tap into automatic processes, while avoiding the use of strategies, for example, expectancy-based and postlexical relatedness checking strategies.

This book focuses on evidence that subjects do process some aspects of the prime, such as its orthographic, phonological, and morphological properties. These aspects are discussed with respect to visual word recognition.

The volume is divided into five sections: ‘Mechanisms’ (Chs. 1–3), ‘Orthographic effects’ (Chs. 4–5), ‘Phonological effects’ (Chs. 6–8), ‘Morphological effects’ (Chs. 9–10), and ‘Masked priming in special populations’ (Chs. 11–13).

Ch. 1 (Kenneth I. Forster, Kathleen Mohan, and Jo Hector) gives an outline of methodological issues and reviews the mechanisms underlying masked priming effects. Ch. 2 (Jeffrey S. Bowers) and Ch. 3 (Michael E. J. Masson and Glen E. Bodner) explore the basis of masked priming effects, that is, the relationship between masked and longterm repetition priming.

Sections 2–4 focus on the three aspects of visual word-processing listed above. In each section, evidence from studies using the masked priming paradigm is presented and the implications thereof are discussed. Ch. 4 (Manuel Perea and Stephen J. Lupker) looks at transposed-letter priming effects (e.g. jugde (prime) and judge (target)) and discusses the implications for letter coding schemes within visual word recognition models. The implications for computational models are discussed in Ch. 5 (Colin J. Davis).

Ch. 6 (Ram Frost) reviews phonological priming effects and argues that prelexical phonological computation is very rapid. Ch. 7 (Michael B. Johnston and Anne Castles) discusses priming studies designed to separate orthographic and phonological effects. Ch. 8 (Sachiko Kinoshita) contrasts two [End Page 533] different accounts of masked priming effects in naming tasks.

Ch. 9 (Natalie Shoolman and Sally Andrews) and Ch. 10 (Kathleen Rastle and Matthew H. Davis) explore whether morphological representations are stored in the lexicon, even if there is no semantic relationship between the morphemes and the word itself; both chapters conclude that morphemes are indeed stored in the lexicon.

The final section presents some of the studies that have investigated masked priming in special populations, namely bilinguals and children. Ch. 11 (Chris Davis, Jeesun Kim, and Rosa Sanchez-Casas) and Ch. 12 (Marc Brysbaert) discuss crosslinguistic priming effects in bilinguals and the implications for the organization of the bilingual lexicon. In Ch. 13 (Anne Castles, Colin J. Davis, and Kenneth I. Forster), the implications for orthographic and phonological masked priming effects found in children are discussed with respect to the development of visual word recognition.

As one of the only books of its kind, this book will be very useful not only for those in the field of visual word recognition, but also those who use priming paradigms.

Carrie Allyn Ankerstein
University of Sheffield


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pp. 533-534
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