Representation and competition in the perception of spoken words

Cogn Psychol. 2002 Sep;45(2):220-66. doi: 10.1016/s0010-0285(02)00003-8.


We present data from four experiments using cross-modal priming to examine the effects of competitor environment on lexical activation during the time course of the perception of a spoken word. The research is conducted from the perspective of a distributed model of speech perception and lexical representation, which focuses on activation at the level of lexical content. In this model, the strength of competition between simultaneously active lexical items depends on the degree of coherence between their distributed semantic and phonological representations. Consistent with this model, interference effects are more complete when the purely semantic aspects of these coactive representations are probed (using semantic priming) than when phonological aspects are probed as well (using repetition priming).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodicity
  • Recognition, Psychology
  • Semantics
  • Speech Perception*
  • Vocabulary*