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Recent research on structural priming has found that cumulative priming effects established in one experimental session can persist for a week and affect a participant's subsequent linguistic productions (e.g., Kaschak, Kutta, & Schatschneider, 2011). Furthermore, the results of Kaschak, Kutta, & Coyle (under review) indicated that the persistence of the priming effect over the course of a week was dependent upon the participant performing the same language production task that they had a week before. This provided evidence that the long-term cumulative structural priming effect operates in a context-specific manner, however it is unclear exactly what types of memory contribute to these long-term priming effects. The persistence of this long-term cumulative structural priming effect seems to be primarily due to the participant's implicit learning of the biased syntactic construction and the procedural learning that occurred in the biasing phase. If the priming effect is primarily due to implicit learning, then it should be insensitive to changes in the extrinsic context and follow the pattern of results found in McKone and French (2001). The results of the present study indicate that the long-term persistence of the priming effect was insensitive to any changes in the extrinsic context. This study provides strong evidence that long-term structural priming effects should be attributed to an implicit learning mechanism within the language production system. Implications for the role of memory in a structural priming task and prospective research are discussed.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Michael Kaschak, Professor Directing Thesis; Colleen Kelley, Committee Member; Carol Connor, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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