Persistent structural priming from language comprehension to language production

Cognition. 2007 Sep;104(3):437-58. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2006.07.003. Epub 2006 Sep 14.


To examine the relationship between syntactic processes in language comprehension and language production, we compared structural persistence from sentence primes that speakers heard to persistence from primes that speakers produced. [Bock, J. K., & Griffin, Z. M. (2000). The persistence of structural priming: transient activation or implicit learning? Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 129, 177-192.] showed that the production of target priming structures increased the probability of spontaneously using the same structures to describe events in subsequent pictures that were semantically unrelated to the primes. These priming effects persisted across as many as ten intervening filler trials. The present studies replicated these results using auditorily presented primes to which participants only listened. The results indicated persistence of priming across all lags, with relative magnitudes of priming as large as those observed by Bock and Griffin. The implication is that structural priming is persistent regardless of the modality in which language structures are experienced, underscoring the power of priming as an implicit learning mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cognition*
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Linguistics
  • Speech Perception*
  • Verbal Behavior*