Priming and human memory systems

Science. 1990 Jan 19;247(4940):301-6. doi: 10.1126/science.2296719.


Priming is a nonconscious form of human memory, which is concerned with perceptual identification of words and objects and which has only recently been recognized as separate from other forms of memory or memory systems. It is currently under intense experimental scrutiny. Evidence is converging for the proposition that priming is an expression of a perceptual representation system that operates at a pre-semantic level; it emerges early in development, and access to it lacks the kind of flexibility characteristic of other cognitive memory systems. Conceptual priming, however, seems to be based on the operations of semantic memory.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amnesia / physiopathology
  • Cognition
  • Dyslexia / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Neuropsychology
  • Perception / physiology*
  • Semantics
  • Visual Perception