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Exemplar effects arise in a lexical decision task, but only under adverse listening conditions

Nijveld, A., Ten Bosch, L., & Ernestus, M. (2015). Exemplar effects arise in a lexical decision task, but only under adverse listening conditions. In Scottish consortium for ICPhS, M. Wolters, J. Livingstone, B. Beattie, R. Smith, M. MacMahon, J. Stuart-Smith, & J. Scobbie (Eds.), Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2015). Glasgow: University of Glasgow.
This paper studies the influence of adverse listening conditions on exemplar effects in priming experiments that do not instruct participants to use their episodic memories. We conducted two lexical decision experiments, in which a prime and a target represented the same word type and could be spoken by the same or a different speaker. In Experiment 1, participants listened to clear speech, and showed no exemplar effects: they recognised repetitions by the same speaker as quickly as different speaker repetitions. In Experiment 2, the stimuli contained noise, and exemplar effects did arise. Importantly, Experiment 1 elicited longer average RTs than Experiment 2, a result that contradicts the time-course hypothesis, according to which exemplars only play a role when processing is slow. Instead, our findings support the hypothesis that exemplar effects arise under adverse listening conditions, when participants are stimulated to use their episodic memories in addition to their mental lexicons.
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