Facilitation in Naming and Categorizing Repeated Pictures and Words
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Subjects named or categorized a picture preceded sometime earlier by itself
or by its verbal label as well as a word preceded by itself or a pictorial
counterpart. The extent to which the second item benefited from prior pro-
cessing was a function of the mode of the second item, the mode of the
previous occurrence of the concept, and the task. The results of the naming
task of Experiment 1 suggested that words are more generic, in that they
tended to facilitate processing of subsequent occurrences of the concept re-
gardless of the mode of the second occurrence, whereas pictures tended to
facilitate only subsequent pictures. In fact, reading a word was not faster
after having just named a pictorial representation of that concept. Experi-
ment 2 explored, and ruled out, the possibility that this failure to find facil-
itation was the result of an inhibitory mechanism. In general, the data are
consistent with the idea that pictures and words consult the same semantic
system for their interpretation but that words activate a more generic set
of semantic information than do pictures.
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